Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Friday February 24 2012
WATFORD HOST the most prolific team in the Championship this weekend as Southampton visit the Vic'.
After an all-conquering start to the season, the Saints have picked up just four wins from their last 10 games.
However, that doesn't mean that Nigel Adkins side are struggling too badly - still second in the league and in the automatic promotion spots by five points, it's not a bad return to the second-flight.
Adkins' side can also boast the combined talents of the league's top-scorer, 16-goal Rickie Lambert and his fellow 'Championship Player of the Year' nominee, Adam Lallana.
All-in-all, as wobbles go, it's a pretty desirable 'wobble'.
Southampton will be backed by vociferous support on Saturday, having sold out their allocation for the clash.
The January Transfer Window was not particularly busy for the South Coast outfit, who made just two additions, albeit both age huge ability.
Former Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp was one of the most sought-after properties outside the top-flight until the Saints got their man on January 30.
Costing £1.8m, Sharp made the Saints his fifth permanent club having rejected the advances of inconsistent Leicester City.
Despite a season of huge personal tragedy, the Sheffield-born striker has still managed 11 league and cup goals for the Saints and Donny this season. At just 26, the virtually one-in-two hitman has a lot to give.
The much less-heralded January addition was that of Iago Falque on loan from Spurs. Captured from Serie 'A' giants Juventus before immediately being loaned up, Falque comes with huge potential.
The 22 year-old Spaniard has also been on loan with Villareal and featured 34 times for their 'B' side in the 2010/11 season.
Adkins has a few injury issues to contend with Dan Seaborne, Danny Butterfield and Lee Barnard all at different stages of their recovery.
Japanese striker Tandari Lee is pushing for a start having bagged in the 4-0 win over Derby County on Saturday.
Sean Dyche will presumably hand Manchester United loanee Tomasz Kuszczak a debut at the expense of Scott Loach whilst Martin Taylor and Stephen McGinn are both out.
Troy Deeney and Sean Murray both missed the defeat at Crystal Palace and are 'doubtful'.
Watford: Kuszczak; Hodson, Mariappa, Nosworthy, Doyley; Kacaniklic, Eustace (c), Hogg, Forsyth; Iwelumo & Garner.
Southampton: Davis; Fonte, Hoovield, Harding, Fox; Schneiderlin, Cork, Chaplow; Lambert, Sharp, Lallana.
Match Officials: (R) Mr T Bates; (ARs) Mr B Holderness & Mr D Robathan; (4th) Mr I Cooper.
Date:Friday February 24 2012
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