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Sheffield Wednesday vs. Watford

Hillsborough

29/03/14

15:00

Preview: Sheffield Wednesday v Watford

The Hornets are looking to end a dire away run tomorrow at Hillsborough. It has been almost six months since Watford took all three points away from home, when Gianfranco Zola guided Watford to a 2-1 win against Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium on October 5 of last year.

Sheffield Wednesday are one place and one point below Watford at the moment in 13th, and like the Hornets they will very much doubt they can make a late push for the playoffs given the amount of games left to play.

Wednesday are enjoying a run of four wins in a row at home, with their last victory coming at the death against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.

Vital Quotes:

Hornets Head Coach Beppe Sannino told watfordfc.com:

"We live with the frustration in this moment.

"In this moment, in the last match, we were frustrated.

"The last match, for me, mirrored the season altogether in terms of results.

"I think always, tomorrow is another day. This game [Sheffield Wednesday] is another chance to win away.

"If we`re all together, we change our way, we can finish these last nine matches as well as possible.'

Watford striker Troy Deeney, on why Watford's form has been so poor despite good results at Vicarage Road:

"This is only my opinion but at home we go and press really high up the pitch and it just doesn`t feel like we`re doing that when we`re away.

"Obviously, wherever you`re playing, there`s going to be a spell or two when the other team is on top, but I think we`ve benefited from being positive at home and perhaps we haven`t been so certain with our game-plan when we`re on our travels.

"Maybe it comes down to self-belief; there`s no reason for us to feel any different but it would only need a handful of players to have a slightly different mentality to the thing and the outcome has the potential to be so different."

Hornets midfielder Sean Murray, also on the issue of away form:

'I think maybe it is concentration. We have been conceding goals late on in games and that is fully down to concentration and allowing ourselves to come under pressure.

'We should be coping with situations a lot better and away from home we haven`t done that.

'Keeping hold of a good scoreline from the first half has been our downfall all season. We have nine more games to improve and hopefully we can do that heading into next season.'

Owls boss Stuart Gray earlier spoke to swfc.com about how he will be absent from tomorrow's game against the Hornets due to his son's wedding:

"Obviously, I am desperately disappointed to be away from Hillsborough this weekend but as any parent knows, the prospect of missing the wedding day of your son or daughter is unthinkable.

"Unfortunately the two dates clash this weekend and there is no room for manoeuvre.

"However, I will be watching the game via the very latest technology available and I have every confidence in my staff to ensure that the matchday preparations are as focused and diligent as always."

Sheffield Wednesday Team News:

Midfielder Sam Hutchinson is a doubt to return to the fold tomorrow.

Striker Caolan Lavery however is expected to recover from a hamstring strain in time to be available for selection.

Player to watch: Leon Best

Scorer of Tuesday's winner against Brighton and Hove Albion, Leon Best is a big striker that could cause Watford some problems.

On loan from Blackburn, his physical presence and - should he be in the right mood - persistence may trouble the Hornets back line.

So far this season Watford have found it difficult to contain more physical attacking players, as we saw on Tuesday night, conceding three goals against a Blackburn side that were happy to knock it long.

If Leon Best plays well, I can see him having a similar impact as Rudy Gestede did on Tuesday night.

Watford Team News:

Strikers Fernando Forestieri (foot) and Chu-Young Park (thigh) are both still out due to injury.

Fitz Hall also remains out of contention despite joining back in with first-team training very recently following his Achilles injury.

Swedish striker Mathias Ranegie is available selection tomorrow, as he has now served his three-match suspension after being sent off at Doncaster.

New signing Albert Riera may make an appearance in the match day squad, but it is not yet clear whether the 31-year-old Spaniard is match fit having not played a competitive match since January.

Finally, as reported earlier in the week, 2012/13 Player of the Season Almen Abdi is likely to feature in tomorrow's match day squad following his start against Boreham Wood in the Herts Senior Cup this week.

Player to watch: Daniel Toszer

Yet to have a bad game for the Hornets, Hungarian international Daniel Toszer may play an extremely important role in this match.

Toszer is the link between defence and attack, and if those around him give him the right options, he has the ability to pick out a killer pass.

Toszer's delivery from corners and set pieces will also be dangerous, should he get the nod to take them over Lewis McGugan.

Yet to score for Watford of course, but we at Vital Watford are hoping he gets off the mark tomorrow.

Match Facts & Stats

Head-to-head

Sheffield Wednesday won the earlier meeting 1-0 at Vicarage Road in December - their first win in three meetings.

Watford won the last meeting at Hillsborough 4-1 in November 2012 - their first win there in three meetings.

Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday have won three of their last four games, losing the other one.

The Owls have won their last four home games, scoring nine goals and conceding only one.

Watford

Watford have won only one of their last four games, drawing one and losing two.

The Hornets have not won any of their last 14 away games in all competitions, losing five. Their last win on the road was 2-1 at Huddersfield in the Championship on 5 October.

Facts & stats courtesy of BBC Sport.

Next Fixtures:

Burnley (H) 5 April, 15:00 KO.

Leeds United (H) 8 April, 19:45 KO.




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The Journalist

Writer: KDCallanan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 28 2014

Time: 11:15PM

 

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