Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Friday August 5 2011
It`s day one of the new n.Power Championship season and hopes are high across the country as all the planning and preparation come to a head as supporters up and down the country get their first proper glimpses of the summer`s work.
For Watford the season begins at Turf Moor, Burnley; Sean Dyche`s first real test as manager of the Goldenboys after a tumultuous summer that started badly with the loss of Malky Mackay and key players, ending with a strengthened squad and a sense of positivity.
Up in Lancashire, it`s arguably a different case for the Claret`s who enter their first full campaign under ex-Bournemouth boss, Eddie Howe.
Having taken over from the departing Brian Laws last January, Howe has taken stock of his squad and adjusted accordingly ahead of the new campaign yet the number of players in the 'in` column are outweighed by those in the 'out` one.
The double loss of right-back Tyrone Mears and talismanic forward Chris Eagles to Bolton Wanderers is a huge blow for Howe, and even the £3m received for the duo`s services won`t full compensate for the loss of two of his best players.
Returning from long-term injuries suffered last season though are strikers Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin, a frightening pair for much of the Championship`s backlines, raring to get back to what they know best - goal-scoring.
Summer additions Ben Mee and Kieran Trippier, both on loan from Manchester City, highlight the Claret`s defensive problems and furthermore Howe`s new policy aimed at reducing the average age of his squad.
The late capture of Irish winger Keith Treacy from rivals PNE seems a direct replacement for the departed Eagles, and the tricky former Blackburn man adds width and trickery.
Moving Chris Iwelumo onto the Hornets and Clarke Carlisle on-loan to rivals Preston clearly part of that age-reducing scheme.
With regards to Iwelumo, the big Scot is expected to be fit to face his former club having picked up a hamstring niggle in the defeat by Wimbledon during pre-season. If the 33 year-old doesn`t make it then Troy Deeney should be the man to partner Marvin Sordell up front.
Other than that it looks like a fairly straight choice for Dyche, with a contest between new-boy Prince Buaben and Ross Jenkins likely to be the only head-scratcher for the new gaffer.
Burnley: Grant; Trippier, Bikey, Mee, Fox; Elliott, Marney, McCann (c), Wallace; Rodriguez and Austin.
Watford: Loach; Doyley, Mariappa, Taylor, Dickinson; Eustace (c); Yeates, Buaben, Forsyth; Iwelumo and Sordell.
Match Officials: Mr M Brown (R), Mr P Bankes & Mr J Hunt (AR`s) and Mr M Bristow (FO).
Date:Friday August 5 2011
OFFICIAL: Odion Ighalo Signs (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Is Odion Ighalo A Watford Player? (Tuesday July 29 2014)
OFFICIAL: Keith Andrews Signs (Thursday July 24 2014)
Expectation Angst: Is Promotion Now Realistic? (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Pre-Season Update (Sunday July 6 2014)
OFFICIAL: Vydra re-signs on loan (Thursday June 26 2014)
OFFICIAL: Lloyd Dyer Signs (Monday June 16 2014)
2013/14: Fans' Review (Sunday June 8 2014)
Belkalem Signs On & Makes Algeria World Cup Squad (Wednesday June 4 2014)
14/15 Away Kit To Commemorate First World War (Wednesday June 4 2014)
|21. Sheff Wed||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Owls edged out by Magpies in friendly
» Sheff Wed : 30/07/2014 23:53:00
|LUFC Dawson hat-trick in Leeds win
» Leeds Utd : 30/07/2014 21:37:00
|LUFC Lees set to complete Owls move
» Leeds Utd : 30/07/2014 20:48:00
|LUFC Leeds end interest in defender
» Leeds Utd : 30/07/2014 19:57:00
|Blog: StAn's Fans 3-/07/14
» Birmingham : 30/07/2014 19:09:00