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Barnsley Preview (H) - December 1

Barnsley Preview (H) - December 1

WATFORD WILL look to continue their excellent unbeaten November as they kick-off December at home to Keith Hill`s Barnsley side.

The Hornets have a superb home record aganst the Tykes, losing just once at the Vic` since the turn of the Millennium and just twice since August 1995.

The last Barnsley victory in WD18 came in April 2008 as the wheels began to fall off the Aidy Boothroyd reign in splendid fashion. A brace from Kayode Odejayi one from Stephen Foster saw the newly-promoted Tykes trounce the 'Orns 3-0 at home in front of disgruntled home supporters.

It`s been four long years since then and the 'Orns are flying at present whilst Hill`s side falter, currently lying 20th with just one win in 10.

In an attempt to arrest their recent slump, the former Rochdale boss added four new faces on-loan before the loan window shut, bringing in Akos Buszaky from Portsmouth, Emile Sinclair from Barnsley and Marcus Tudgay and Jonathan Greening from Nottingham Forest.

Central to any joy the Yorkshire outfit have tasted this season has been the form of striker Craig Davies.

The 26 year-old striker leads the club`s scoring charts with nine league goals in 17 appearances - four of those coming in the memorable destruction of Birmingham City, the club which the former Chesterfield man supports.

A full Welsh international with six caps, the Burton-on-Trent born hitman is the deadly combination of pace and power and now has 19 goals in 52 appearances for Hill`s side after signing last term.

Previously on the books of the Spireites - bagging 23 in 41 as well as Italian outfit Hellas Verona, Davies started his professional career at Manchester City.

Former Chelsea midfielder Jacob Mellis has proven himself to be a key addition - an ever present over 19 n.Power Championship games.

The 21 year-old playmaker was unceremoniously booted out of the Stamford Bridge club at the tail end of last season after setting off a smoke grenade at the Blues` Cobham training ground last April. However, Chelsea`s loss has emphatically been Barnsley`s gain.

Born in Nottingham, the 5`11 midfielder has England U16, U17 and U19 caps dating back to 2006.

Mellis spent part of last term on-loan at Oakwell before signing permanently this following his release from Chelsea.

Another league ever-present is former Exeter City and Reading left-sider, Scott Goldbourne.

Signed from St. James` Park last term, the Royals` academy graduate is equally competent at both left-back and left-midfield and is very comfortable getting forward down the left flank.

Now 24, the Bristolian was capped at England U17 and U19 levels. The 5`8 full-back has taken in four loan spells, twice at Wycombe Wanderers, once at Bournemouth and Oldham Athletic respectively.

Goldbourne had made over 100 appearances for the Grecians before switching League One football for the Championship last January.

Watford will be without the services of John Eustace (back), Neuton (ankle), Nyron Nosworthy (hamstring) and Almen Abdi (shoulder).

Prince Buaben and Geoffrey Mujangi Bia are both working their way back to full fitness but are available for selection.

Lloyd Doyley (calf) , Ikechi Anya and Jonathan Bond all missed the Sheffield Wednesday win.

Predicted line-ups:

Watford:
Almunia (c); Ekstrand, Hall, Hoban; Cassetti, Chalobah, Hogg, Yeates, Pudil; Deeney & Forestieri.

Barnsley: Steele; Crainie, Foster, McNulty (c), Goldborune; Mellis, Greening, Buszaky; Noble-Lazarus, Davies & Tudgay.

Referee: Mr F Graham.

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Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday November 29 2012
Time: 9:48AM

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