Vital Football

Latest Watford FC News

Blackburn Rovers Preview (H) - April 20

Blackburn Rovers Preview (H) - April 20

WATFORD will look to secure their place in the npower Championship play-offs this Saturday as they host ailing Blackburn Rovers at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets, who have 71 points and two games remaining after Saturday, can secure their top-six spot for good if they win, regardless of what either Bolton Wanderers or Nottingham Forest (63 points) do in their games against Middlesbrough and Barnsley respectively.

For visitors Blackburn, it`s an entirely different story with only two points separating themselves in 19th and the relegation zone.

In a season where the club`s hapless owners, the Venkys, have gone through six permanent and caretaker mangers many neutral fans would argue that the Lancashire outfit deserve to be in the mess they are in.

Vital Watford sympathise with the plight of Blackburn supporters having only recently been under the ownership of a unanimously disliked figure ourselves.

Looking ahead to the fixture and it`s 41 year-old Gary Bowyer in temporary charge of the side for the second time this season, trying his hardest to prevent back-to-back relegations for the Ewood Park side.

Winning 75% of his matches in charge during his initial caretaker spell between December and January, the former Hereford United, Nottingham Forest and Rotherham United full-back has won 40% this time around, including his last two.

The successes over Derby County and more importantly, fellow survival hopefuls Huddersfield Town, could prove huge in the grand scheme of things, lifting Rovers out of the drop zone at just the right time.

With Watford struggling for form of late - just two victories in eight - Rovers will come to the Vic` knowing that not only is a win imperative, but quite possible too after a second successive defeat for Gianfranco Zola`s side at Millwall on Tuesday night.

The Lancastrian`s lowly position certainly begs the question of where Rovers would be without the 24 npower Championship goals of top-scorer, Jordan Rhodes.

Rhodes has been one of few bright spots in a dismal season, virtually single-handedly keeping Blackburn`s head above water for the majority of the campaign.

Snared from Huddersfield Town during the summer for a princely £8m, the Oldham-born Scotland international has hit the ground running and immediately begun to pay off some of that hefty transfer fee.

Seventy-three goals in 110 league starts for the Terriers made Rhodes one of the most sought-after talents outside the top two divisions and with Rovers prepared to shell out £8m, the eight-cap Scotland international moved to Ewood Park.

Starting out at Ipswich, Rhodes saw very little first-team action - just 10 substitute appearances and one goal - having spent time out on-loan at Oxford United, Rochdale and Brentford.

Seven goals in 14 starts for the League One Bees was enough to persuade Lee Clark to snap up the 6`1" frontman, who quickly rewarded his boss` faith in him.

Watford are without John Eustace, Connor Smith, Neuton, Tommie Hoban, Fitz Hall and Nyron Nosworthy. Marco Cassetti is back in contention though after serving a one-match suspension.

The former of Matej Vydra has been poor recently leaving Zola with a choice as to whether or not to stick with the Czech Republic frontman. With Fernando Forestieri chomping at the bit and scoring three in his last two starts, it seems hard on the Argentine to leave him out.

Blackburn are without first-choice goalkeeper Paul Robinson and Jake Kean, meaning Genk loanee Grzegorz Sandomierski should start between the sticks.

Colin Kazim-Richards and Grant Hanley were both suspended for the Huddersfield win and will miss the trip to WD18 also as they serve the final games of their bans.

Right-back Bradley Orr and winger David Bentley will both travel having recovered from rib and knee injuries respectively.

Predicted line-ups:

Watford:
Almunia (c); Cassetti, Ekstrand, Doyley; Anya, Yeates, Battocchio, Abdi, Pudil; Forestieri & Deeney.

Blackburn Rovers: Sandomierski; Lowe, Kane, Dann, Givet; Best, Jones, Williamson, Ms. Olsson; King & Rhodes.

Referee: Mr N Miller.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



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

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday April 18 2013
Time: 6:58PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Watford Articles

Watford Beat Milan + PSG To Striker?

It's being reported that Watford have stolen a march on Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in the hunt for young Nigerian striker...

Arsenal And Manchester United Ighalo Talk Returns

Despite managing just three-goals since the turn of the year Ighalo continues to be linked with Premier League rivals, most strongly Arsenal and Manchester United.

Watford Interest In Reading's Welsh International

Robson-Kanu is out of contract with Reading this summer so could leave on a free. Assuming this Watford interest in accurate we could have competition from Southampton and Swansea?

A Vital Challenge - Ben Nevis To Face The Fear

Vitalfootball.co.uk co-owner Jonathan Fear is pushing himself to the limit in order to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

Archived Vital Watford Articles

Vital Watford articles from

Site Journalists

Harry Welch
Editor email
Profile
KDCallanan
no email
Profile
chrisgwfc
no email
Profile
Colin Cowan
no email
Profile
Alex Moore
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Villa MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Gomes0%
Paredes0%
Cathcart2%
Britos0%
Anya4%
Abdi0%
Suarez0%
Watson0%
Jurado2%
Deeney28%
Ighalo0%
Sub - Berghuis62%
Sub - Amrabat2%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Leicester City 36 22 11 3 77 30
2 Spurs 36 19 13 4 70 39
3 Arsenal 36 19 10 7 67 25
4 Man City 36 19 7 10 64 30
5 Man Utd 35 17 9 9 60 12
6 West Ham 35 15 14 6 59 17
7 Southampton 36 16 9 11 57 14
8 Liverpool 35 15 10 10 55 11
9 Chelsea 35 12 12 11 48 7
10 Stoke 36 13 9 14 48 -14
11 Everton 35 10 14 11 44 6
12 Watford 35 12 8 15 44 -6
13 Swansea 36 11 10 15 43 -13
14 WBA 36 10 11 15 41 -14
15 AFC Bournemouth 36 11 8 17 41 -20
16 Crystal Palace 36 10 9 17 39 -10
17 Newcastle 36 8 9 19 33 -25
18 Sunderland 35 7 11 17 32 -18
19 Norwich 35 8 7 20 31 -26
R Aston Villa 36 3 7 26 16 -45
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Watford Results (view all)

Watford Fixtures (view all)

May 8 2016 4:00PM : Liverpool (a)
Barclays Premier League
May 11 2016 7:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Barclays Premier League
May 15 2016 3:00PM : Sunderland (H)
Barclays Premier League