Bolton vs Watford Match Preview
Watford head to the Macron Stadium this weekend to play Bolton Wanderers in the Sky Bet Championship, in what will be the feature game on the BBC’s Football League Show.
Watford come into the match on the back of two hard fought wins against Blackburn and Brentford, which has seen them move up to 5th position in the table, six points behind leaders Middlesbrough. Bolton meanwhile, sit in 13th position in the Championship, and the Trotters have drastically improved under the guidance of Neil Lennon.
When the two sides met at Vicarage Road on the opening day of the 2014/15 season, it was Watford who ran out 3-0 winners, thanks to goals from Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri. In truth, it could and probably should have been more for the Golden Boys on that day.
Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon is now in charge at the Macron Stadium, taking over after Dougie Freedman was sacked earlier this season. Since taking charge in October, Bolton have gone unbeaten at home in the League, and have risen to 13th place in the table. The Trotters have become much harder to break down, with this being illustrated over the course of their cup tie against Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers men having to wait till the 90th minute in the 2nd leg in order to secure their progress to the next stage of the FA Cup.
Lennon has also made some astute signings since his appointment in October, sealing the return of fan favourite Eidur Gudjohnson on a free transfer, and also adding Cardiff striker Adam Le Fondre as well as Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan on loan deals during the January transfer window.
The key player for Bolton tomorrow will be Cardiff loanee Adam Le Fondre. The former Reading man has scored against the Hornets on both occasions for Cardiff this season, and always seems to have a knack of scoring against the Golden Boys. His direct style and pressing could cause the Hornets defence all sorts of issues, and the 28 year old has showed he is a more than capable player at this level, having achieved double figure tallies in both seasons in the Championship for Reading. Le Fondre also proved that he can score goals at the highest level, after he scored 12 goals during the Royals season back in the Premier League 2 years ago.
Although Bolton lie in mid-table, the Trotters will prove a tough nut to crack especially at home where they are yet to lose in the league under the stewardship of Neil Lennon. The Hornets have shown a different side to them in the past 2 games, having illustrated that they can battle to victories even though they may not be at their fluid best. Tomorrows game will be another tough match in the Championship, but it is one that the Hornets will have to win if they want to pile on the pressure on the teams above them in the play-offs at automatic promotion positions.
For Neil Lennon’s Bolton, the Trotters will be without seven first team players. Matt Mills has recovered from his injury and will be involved in the match day squad. For Emile Heskey and Craig Davies the game is expected to come to early for them.
For Watford, Gianni Munari has over come a toe problem and will be assessed in the build up to tomorrows match. Sean Murray is out with a knee injury.
Predicted Team Line-ups
Bolton – Lonergan (GK), Janko, Wheater, Dervite, Ream, Vela, Bannan, Danns, Feeney, Gudjohnson ©, Le Fondre.
Watford – Gomes (GK), Paredes, Cathcart, Angella, Anya, Layun, Tozser, Abdi, Vydra, Ighalo, Deeney ©
Referee –Geoff Eltringham.