Birmingham vs Watford Match Preview.
Watford travel to St Andrews tonight to play Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship, as the Hornets look to continue their good run of form and cement their position at the top of the Sky Bet Championship. The Golden Boys are the Sky Bet Championship leaders going into the match whilst Birmingham City lie down in the relegation zone in 22nd place.
Both matches between the two sides ended in a 1-0 victory to the Golden Boys last season, with Troy Deeney scoring the goals in the fixtures to give Watford the three points.
The Blues have endured a tough start to the season and their humiliating 0-8 home defeat to Birmingham a couple of weeks ago left many fearing the worst for the club. However, after Gary Rowett’s appointment as Birmingham manager and an encouraging 0-0 draw with Wolves at Molineux at the weekend, things may be about to change for the club, who were in the Premier League not so long ago. The Blues narrowly avoided relegation last season, gaining survival on the final day of the 2013/14 season after a 2-2 draw at Bolton and the Blue’s will be looking to avoid a similar scenario this time round.
Gary Rowett is the new manager of Birmingham City after being appointed as the clubs new boss last week on a rolling 12 month contract. The 40 year old established himself as a more than capable manager at League 2 side Burton Albion, guiding them to the play offs for two years in a row. His reign got off to a promising start with a 0-0 draw with play off chasers Wolves and he will be hoping to turn the Blue’ fortunes around starting tonight against the Hornets.
Birmingham’s captain Paul Robinson, is a name known by all Watford fans and is regarded as a Hornets legend. The defender started his career with the Hornets, making over 250 appearances for the Golden Boys, the academy graduate left the club to join West Bromwich Albion. Since then he has gone on to play for Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United before joining Birmingham in September 2012. I was lucky enough to speak to Paul back in August, so if you missed my interview with him click here - http://www.thewatfordblog.com/news/captain-robbo-at-the-double/
Although they may lie in the relegation zone, Birmingham cannot be under estimated, especially with a new manager in charge, so the Hornets will have to be at their best in order to gain the three points.
For Birmingham, striker Lee Novak and winger Demarai Gray face late fitness checks. David Edgar is available after serving his suspension.
For Watford, defender Sebastian Bassong is a doubt after limping off during the Horents 3-1 win over Millwall at the weekend. Slavisa Jokanovic has confirmed that defender Tommie Hoban will start for the Hornets whilst Ikechi Anya is also available after missing the win over Millwall at the weekend. Almen Abdi, Gabriele Angella and Gabriel Tamas are all out.
Predicted Team Lineups
Birmingham – Randolph (GK), Caddis, Morrison, Robinson ©, Grounds, Cotterill, Davis, Gleeson, Shinnie, Thomas, Donaldson.
Watford – Gomes (GK), Paredes, Hoban, Ekstrand, Pudil, Andrews, Tozser, McGugan, Ighalo, Vydra, Deeney ©.
Referee – Mark Heywood