Bristol City Preview - Home, November 29
WATFORD FACE a tough proposition this Tuesday night as a resurgent Bristol City visit the Vic'.
Under new boss and one-time Watford target, Derek McInnes, the West County outfit have improved immeasurably and beat league-leaders Southampton on Saturday.
With just one addition made since his arrival - that of Derby County winger Stephen Pearson, McInnes appears to have instilled some confidence in a previously ailing squad.
Results have been good for the former St Johnstone boss with four wins, a draw and just one defeat from his six matches in charge at Ashton Gate.
McInnes made his managerial bow with the SPL side, overseeing 177 league and cup matches in Scotland before returning South to continue his adventure in the English game.
On paper, the squad built by his predecessor, Keith Millen, is really quite strong.
The likes of Nicky Maynard, Lewin Nyatanga, Damion Stewart, Jon Stead and Marvin Elliott are all experienced Championship campaigners by now and with rough diamonds such as Albert Adomah and Yannick Bolasie playing their part too, there's a good blend for the Robins.
Maynard is the stand-out man, and the former Crewe Alexandra forward scored again on Saturday, with the aid of a deflection, taking his City record to 44 league goals in 102 league starts. Not bad for a man who has suffered terrible luck in the injury department.
Powerful midfield enforcer Elliott moved to Ashton Gate on a free transfer from Millwall in 2007 and has not looked back. A regular at the heart of midfield, the bulky 27 year-old is rapidly approaching 200 league appearances for the club. Strong in the tackle and blessed with great natural fitness, Elliott is a match for anyone in the division.
On the flanks, former Barnet wide-boys Adomah and Bolasie (on-loan from Plymouth), have made the step-up from League Two football impressively and Adomah in particular has proven himself a key man. Pacey and direct, the former Harrow Borough winger has chipped in with 10 league strikes in 63 start over two seasons. Bolasie is still finding his feet however.
This will be a tough clash for the Hornets who would have preferred to take City on a couple of months ago.
Only defender Liam Fontaine is out for the visitors whilst Watford could be robbed of the services of Marvin Sordell. Jonathan Hogg is back from suspension to hand Sean Dyche a selection headache in the engine room.
Watford: Loach; Hodson, Nosworthy, Mariappa (c), Dickinson; Yeates, Eustace (c), Hogg, Kightly; Iwelumo & Beattie.
Bristol City: James; Skuse, Nyatanga, Wilson, McGivern; Cisse, Kilkenny, Elliott; Adomah, Maynard & Pearson.
Match Officials: (R) S Matthieson;(ARs) Mr O Saliy & Mr M Scholes; (4th) Mr W Linden.