Watford - Burnley Preview (A) - December 15
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Burnley Preview (A) - December 15

WATFORD MAKE the trip to Turf Moor this Saturday in the battle of Hornet's managers past and present.

Sean Dyche, now in charge of the Clarets after a 49-game stint in charge of the 'Orns has enjoed a decent enough start to life in Lancashire, taking 11 points from his first eight games in charge.

The 41 year-old of course left Vicarage Road over the summer, a victim of the regime change, in spite of guiding the Hornets to a superb 11th-place finish in his only campaign as gaffer.

Without getting too carried away with the Dyche angle, the Kettering-born growler did spend a number of years at Vicarage Road in several capacities, first joining the club in the summer of 2002.

Dyche the player made 68 league appearances for the Hornets, captaining the side during his final season at the club whilst also lifting the 'Cope de Ibiza' in the summer of 2004.

Eventually leaving the club to move closer to home and Northampton, Dyche retired from playing in 2007 after two seasons at Sixfields.

In the winter of the 2007/08 season, Dyche was brought back to Watford by Aidy Boothroyd and charged with looking after the club's U18 side.

Boothroyd was followed out the door by Brendan Rodgers and then Malky Mackay, both of whom had Dyche in their backroom staff, leaving Dyche to finally take the top job in the summer of 2011.

Turning an eye to the present, Dyche's Burnley side currently sit 17th in the Championship after a wildly inconsistent first chunk of the campaign.

Strong home form - five won, three drawn and two lost - has been severely hampered by poor away form - three wins, one draw and seven defeats - and Dyche has as a result been quick to tighten up the Claret's defence.

With just 12 conceded at home but 24 on the road, it's no secret where the Clarets are weakest.

Zola's side of course arrive at Turf Moor off the back of their first defeat since October, an unbeaten run which stretched seven games to their last visit to the area, a 1-0 reverse by Blackburn Rovers.

Goals at Turf Moor between the 'Orns and the Clarets are a guarantee, with 45 scored in the last 10 league clashes at the ground between the two sides.

In Charlie Austin, the Clarets boast the league's top-scorer with 18 N.Power Championship goals from just 20 starts. The 23 year-old has notched a further three league cup goals this term too.

Signed from Swindon Town in 2011, the former Poole Town, Hungerford Town, Thatcham Town, Kintbury Rangers and AFC Newbury hitman has proved a sensation since turning pro' in 2009 with Swindon.

So good the Hungerford-born forward's form has been, that he has already bettered last season's league tally of 16 from 41 games.

Left-back Ben Mee is out for the hosts, whilst Chris McCann and Michael Duff both serve one-match suspension.

Watford are without John Eustace (back), Nyron Nosworthy (hamstring), Prince Buaben (thigh) and Neuton (ankle).

An update on the Fernando Forestieri hamstring injury will be brought to you as soon as possible.

Predicted line-ups:

Grant; Trippier, Edgar, Shackell, Lafferty; Wallace, Marney, Stock, Mills; Paterson & Austin.

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

Referee: Mr P Gibbs.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tom Bodell Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 13 2012

Time: 10:10AM


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