Charlton Athletic Preview (A) - October 2
WATFORD WAVED goodbye to a miserable September in which they recorded just four points - three of those coming in Saturday's rousing win at Huddersfield Town.
Next up in the n.Power Championship adventure is another newly-promoted side in Charlton Athletic.
Managed by former Hornet Chris Powell - 15 Premier League appearances as a Golden Boy - the south Londoners romped to promotion from League One last term and have made a solid enough start to life back at this level.
Two wins, three draws and three defeats from their opening eight leave the Addicks a place and a point behind the Hornets at this stage.
Unlike many sides who win promotion, Charlton have by-and-large stuck with the same squad that emphatically delivered promotion last season.
Powell was quick to act in the transfer market, making just five additions to his existing squad with the last of those signing three days before the transfer window closed.
Experienced striker Ricardo Fuller was one of three free agents to move to the Valley this summer, joining after a six-year spell with Stoke City.
It was with the Potters where Fuller finally settled down, bagging 43 goals in 182 league appearances for the Staffordshire outfit. Six years with Tony Pulis' side had been preceded by modest spells as Portsmouth, Southampton and Ipswich.
Now 32, the Jamaican international of 57 caps opened his account for Charlton with the winner in the 2-1 defeat of Ipswich 10 days ago. A busy, bustling type of striker with no little pace, Fuller brings vital Championship experience to an otherwise youthful outfit.
In midfield the man who keeps it all ticking over is former Bury and Oldham Athletic youngster, Dale Stephens.
Signed from the Latics last summer, the 22 year-old has quickly made established himself at the Valley, making 30 league appearances and scoring five times since his arrival.
The Bolton-born central midfielder has previously enjoyed loan spells at Droylsden, Rochdale and Southampton.
Signed for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £350,000, Stephens has proved to be a shrewd investment.
This week saw the sixth arrival of the summer with Manchester City's young midfielder Abdul Razak joining the Addicks on loan.
The 19 year-old Ivorian arrives with Championship experience having already spent time on loan at this level with both Portsmouth and Brighton last season.
Signed by the Citizens to their elite development squad in 2010, the one-cap Ivorian has also made three senior appearances for the Premier League champions, the first coming as a substitute for David Silva against West Brom in February 2011.
The Addicks will be without striker Yann Kermorgant, who recently fractured his ankle in training just under a fortnight ago.
Powell will also be without Rhoys Wiggins (fractured metatarsal), Matt Taylor (foot), Andy Hughes (achilles) and Nick Pope (knee).
Gianfranco Zola will be hard-pushed to change the side which beat Huddersfield on Saturday, though Tommie Hoban could drop out if Nyron Nosworthy is fit to return.
Charlton Athletic: Hamer; Solly, Morrison, Cort, Jackson (c); Green, Hollands, Stephens, Wilson; Wright-Phillips & Kerkar.
Watford: Almunia; Hoban, Hall, Neuton; Cassetti, Chalobah, Hogg, Abdi, Pudil; Forestieri & Deeney.
Referee: Mr P Miller.