Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday December 29 2011
WATFORD WILL look to end 2011 on a high by stretching their impressive run of form as Doncaster Rovers visit the Vic' on New Year's Eve.
Donny remain rooted in the relegation zone despite the new Dean Saunders-Willie McKay axis, but are still within two points of safety.
The transfer policy at the Keepmoat Stadium is still in full swing with McKay bringing in three new faces on Wednesday on five-month contracts.
Heading up the trio is former Liverpool youngster, Damien Plessis, 23, who has penned a loan deal from Greek Giants Olympiakos.
Joining the French holding midfielder is Mamadou Bagayoko who joins on a free having leave Greek side, PAS Gianna. The 32 year-old is of French descent but has represented Mali 15 times, scoring 11 goals for the African side.
Last but not least is another forward, Habib Bamogo, who has represented Burkina Faso on 28 occasions, scoring eight goals. Bamogo most recently represent Panetolikos, but has previously plied his trade for Marseille and Nice. According to the Official Doncaster Rovers site, Bamogo can 'apparently play out wide or up front,' - sounds like a strong scouting department!
Saunders recently lost the services of former Celtic and West Brom forward, Marc-Antoine Fortune, who joined the Yorkshire outfit on-loan in time to face the 'Orns at the Keepmoat earlier in the season.
Still, Rovers have goalkeeper Carl Ikeme (Wolves), right-back Habib Beye (Aston Villa), left-back Herita Ilunga (West Ham) and midfielder Herold Goulon (Blackburn Rovers) on-loan at present.
Controversial former Rangers, Liverpool, Bolton, Sunderland and Blackburn forward El-Hadji Diouf is also still on the books too. Having failed to impress potential suitors sufficiently to earn a move away, the Senegalese trouble-maker has penned a new three-month deal.
Another man with an equally-long list of clubs still kicking around is French full-back, Pascal Chimbonda. The diminutive defender made Doncaster his seventh English move since arriving in 2005 at Wigan. The 32 year-old has made just five appearances so far this season however.
Rovers will be without midfielder Martin Woods - a long-term injury concern who should return in the New Year.
Watford will look to name the same XI that drew at home to Cardiff City on Boxing Day with Sean Dyche having only long-term absentees Martin Taylor and Stephen McGinn unavailable for selection.
Watford: Loach; Hodson, Nosworthy, Mariappa (c), Dickinson; Yeates, Hogg, Buaben, Kightly; Deeney & Sordell.
Doncaster Rovers: Woods; O'Connor, Hird, Ilunga, Beye; Barnes, Stock (c), Gillett, Coppinger; Diouf & Sharp.
Match Officials: (R) Mr D Drysdale; (AR's) Mr M Bull & Mr D Bushell; (4th) Mr J Magill
Date:Thursday December 29 2011
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