Gillingham Away - Preview
Watford look ahead tonight to an away game with Gillingham to round off their pre-season preparation ahead of the first competitive match on Saturday when we host Wycombe Wanderes in the Capital One Cup first round.
Gillingham, will be a tough test for Gianfranco Zola`s side tonight because as ever with a Martin Allen side they will be extremely well drilled and very competitive. Allen took the reigns during the summer after the departure of club legend and former Hornets players Andy Hessenthaler after he failed to guide the Gills into the play-off positions.
Gillingham have had an excellent pre-season so far winning all of their five matches so far including one also at home on Saturday against fellow Championship rivals Charlton Athletic. The Gills pride themselves on a solid defence and have only conceded four goals in the five pre season games and kept a clean sheet against Charlton in their 1-0 victory.
Gillingham contain a solid team with some notable players. Goalkeeper Stuart Nelson, signed by Allen in the summer having worked with him at Brentford, joined from Notts County. Charlie Lee is also another standout player having started his career with Tottenham and made the bench for two Uefa Cup matches he played a key role in Peterborough`s back to back promotions to the Championship in. 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Chris Whelpdale is also one of the bigger names having also joined from Peterborough and is very well known for his spectacular goals, one of which earned him the Gills goal of the season award last term. Andy Frampton also bring a large amount of experience to the Gillingham side.
As far as Watford are concerned it is unclear if the five loan signings from Granada and Udinese respectively will get any game time tonight. Zola confirmed yesterday that all five were left out of Lloyd Doyley`s testimonial against Tottenham due to fitness problems and to compound the situation Daniel Pudil limped off after seven minutes. It will probably mean none of the loan signings will be fit enough to start the campaign in ten days time with no pre-season action under their belts.
The fitness of Stephen McGinn continues to keep him sidelined after his knee injury whilst it will be interesting to see if Chris Iwelumo is given a role. Despite rumours he is about to be given a free transfer he has this morning kept his number 10 first team shirt and was involved on Saturday and looked dangerous too!