Vital Football

Latest Watford FC News

Middlesbrough Preview (A) - January 12

Middlesbrough Preview (A) - January 12

WATFORD return to N.Power Championship action this Saturday as they head to the North East to take on Tony Mowbray's high-flying Middlesbrough.

'Boro sit fourth in the Championship after 26 games and after a couple of seasons of steady progression under the former Hibernian, West Brom and Celtic, this looks like the season they could finally return to the top-flight.

The Teessiders have been in the Championship for four seasons now following relegation but after struggling for home form last season, their imperious form at the Riverside - second best in the division - could well help them back to the Premier League.

With 10 victories in front of their own supporters - second only to Cardiff's 12 - the trip to Middlesbrough this Saturday will serve as a perfect test of Watford's credentials this season.

The Hornets, though, enjoy the joint-second best away form in the division, with six wins on the road - only second-placed Hull City better that with seven.

Even The Football League Show have sat up and taken notice of what could be tasty tie, pencilling the clash in for extended highlights on the Beeb this Saturday evening (or Sunday morning!).

Central to 'Boro's success has been the form of Australian forward, Scott McDonald.

The former Southampton, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, Wimbledon, Motherwell and Celtic forward fell out favour with Mowbray spectacularly in pre-season, meaning he didn't make a first-team appearance until he scored against the 'Orns at the Vic' in October to hand his side victory.

With 10 goals from 20 league and cup appearances, the Australian international has quickly re-established himself as a key part of Mowbray's side.

McDonald's overall record at 'Boro is impressive, with 34 Championship goals in just 90 starts.

Mowbray had previously worked with the diminutive forward at Celtic Park, where the 26-cap Aussie bagged a whopping 51 SPL goals from just 84 starts for the Bhoys.

In the centre of midfield, former Ipswich Town and Sunderland enforcer Grant Leadbitter has missed just one league game so far.

Signed on a free transfer from the Tractor Boys over the summer following the expiry of his contract, the Houghton-le-Spring born midfielder spent six years at Sunderland before returning to the North East this summer.

A combative, box-to-box type, Leadbitter made 112 Championship starts during his time in Suffolk, having been brought to the club by Roy Keane for the princely sum of £2.6m.

Leadbitter had also worked under Keane at the Stadium of Light, having come through the club's academy setup before going on to make 111 league starts for the Black Cats before following Keane to Portman Road.

An England U16, U17, U19, U20 & U21 international, Leadbitter helped Sunderland to the Championship title in 2007.

Alongside Leadbitter in midfield is Chelsea loanee, Josh McEachran.

Tipped as the 'bright young thing' emerging from Stamford Bridge a couple of years back, McEachran is finally taking those decisive steps in the game on-loan at the Riverside.

A small, neat, technically-adept, ball-playing midfielder, McEachran has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Stamford Bridge in spite of the hype surrounding him.

Still jut 19, McEachran spent the second-half of last season on-loan at Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City, making four top-flight appearances in the process.

In 2010 McEachran made his Blues' bow in the Champions League in 2010 - in doing so, he became the first player to play in the competition born after it's inception in 1992.

That December McEachran made his Premier League debut at Chelsea took on Manchester City, and to date, the England U16, U17, U19, and U21 international has made 11 top-flight appearances for the Blues, with a further six appearances in Europe.

Middlesbrough have a string of injury concerns to contend with, including Andrew Halliday (broken nose), Jonathan Woodgate (calf), Justin Hoyte (hip), Julio Arca (toe), Mustafa Carayol (knee) and Curtis Main (knee), all of whom are out.

Furthermore, Seb Hines, Marvin Emnes, Andre Bikey, George Friend, Jorge Ledesma and McEachran will all be assessed ahead of Saturday.

Gianfranco Zola has no such problems with John Eustace, Lloyd Doyley and Nyron Nosworthy all returning to action against Manchester City last Saturday.

Manuel Almunia, Almen Abdi, Fitz Hall, Tommie Hoban Jonathan Hogg remain doubts after missing the trip to the Etihad either through injury or to be rested.

More up-to-date team news is now AVAILABLE HERE.

Referee: Mr M Brown.



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

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday January 10 2013
Time: 12:38PM

Comments

0
Great win... Glad I went.... Trip home will be a breeze...
watford1881
12/01/2013 18:52:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Watford Articles

Survival Marked By New Premier League Logo

The Premier League have today confirmed that they are rebranding from the 2016-17 season...

Dyer Finds A New Home?

During his time with the Hornets Dyer struggled for first-team football, ending last season on loan with Birmingham, and following his exit he is ready to sign for Ipswich.

Flores - All Credit To Tottenham

Head coach Quique Sanchez Flores has given his thoughts following the one nil loss to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

Gomes & Suarez Talk Spurs

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and January arrival Mario Suarez have both given their thoughts following defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

Archived Vital Watford Articles

Vital Watford articles from

Site Journalists

Harry Welch
Profile
KDCallanan
Profile
chrisgwfc
Profile
Colin Cowan
Profile
Alex Moore
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Spurs MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Gomes89%
Nyom2%
Cathcart2%
Britos0%
Ake5%
Suarez0%
Watson0%
Abdi0%
Capoue0%
Jurado0%
Ighalo0%
Sub - Behrami0%
Sub - Deeney0%
Sub - Prodl2%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 25 15 8 2 53 20
2 Spurs 25 13 9 3 48 26
3 Arsenal 25 14 6 5 48 17
4 Man City 25 14 5 6 47 21
5 Man Utd 25 11 8 6 41 10
6 West Ham 25 10 9 6 39 9
7 Southampton 25 10 7 8 37 9
8 Everton 25 8 11 6 35 12
9 Liverpool 25 9 8 8 35 -4
10 Watford 25 9 6 10 33 0
11 Stoke 25 9 6 10 33 -7
12 Crystal Palace 25 9 5 11 32 -4
13 Chelsea 25 7 9 9 30 -2
14 WBA 25 7 8 10 29 -9
15 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 7 11 28 -12
16 Swansea 25 6 9 10 27 -9
17 Newcastle 25 6 6 13 24 -18
18 Norwich 25 6 5 14 23 -20
19 Sunderland 25 5 5 15 20 -19
20 Aston Villa 25 3 7 15 16 -20
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Watford Fixtures (view all)

Feb 13 2016 3:00PM : Crystal Palace (a)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Leeds United (H)
FA Cup
Feb 27 2016 3:00PM : AFC Bournemouth (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 2 2016 8:00PM : Manchester United (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 5 2016 5:30PM : Leicester City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 12 2016 3:00PM : West Ham United (a)
Barclays Premier League

Recent Watford Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.David Allen1