Cardiff vs Watford Match Preview.
Watford head to Wales this afternoon to play Cardiff City in the Sky Bet Championship, as they look to make amends for Boxing Day’s disappointing 0-1 home defeat to Wolves in front of the Sky cameras.
Although they remained in 6th position in the table, the Hornets lost ground on most of the other teams in the top six and are now 4 points behind third place Derby and seven off of Bournemouth who remained top of the pile.
Cardiff occupy 11th spot in the league, in what has been a mixed first half of the season for the Bluebirds, and they were held to a 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic on Boxing Day.
During the match at Vicarage Road between the two sides last month, Adam Le Fondre scored the only goal early on in the match after a Heurelho Gomes error which secured a narrow 0-1 win for Cardiff over the Golden Boys. The Hornets dominated proceedings for large parts of the game, but a mixture of wasteful finishing and an inspirational performance from Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall meant that Watford succumbed to a marginal defeat to Russell Slade’s men.
Cardiff are managed by former Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade, who took over at the Cardiff City stadium on the 6th October 2014, after the departure of Ole Gunnar Soljskaer. Slade is an experienced manager in The Football League and came tantalisingly close to guiding Leyton Orient to the Championship last year, with the club being beaten in the League One Play Off Final by Rotherham United. He has made a good start to life at the Cardiff City stadium, with the Bluebirds losing only one out of their last 6 at home.
The key player for Cardiff City, if he plays, will be experienced striker Kenwyne Jones. The Bluebirds utilised the big striker’s aerial ability during the match last month between the two sides, often playing long balls up from the back as they attacked. The Hornets back three of Gabriele Angella, Joel Ekstrand and Sebastian Bassong could not cope with Jones that day, with the 30 year old Trinidad and Tobago international winning everything in the air over the course of the match.
Watford’s performance on Boxing Day against Wolves was simply not good enough and the Golden Boys need to up their game if they want to gain the three points and stay in touch with the top six. It will not be an easy task today to beat Cardiff by all means, but if the Golden Boys play to their ability then they should be able to gain those all important three points.
For Cardiff, Federico Macheda, Fabio and Kadeem Harris are all pushing for starts as they dropped to the substitutes bench for the Bluebirds trip to Charlton on Boxing Day.
For Watford, Gabriele Angella returns from suspension after serving a one match ban for receiving a second yellow card against Reading. Joel Ekstrand remains out for the Golden Boys with a back injury whilst Troy Deeney is fit after coming through the Boxing Day match against Wolves with no issues. A few other players will be monitored after picking up knocks, whilst Sebastian Bassong and Adlene Guedioura could make their final appearances for the Golden Boys with their loan spells ending in early January.
Predicted Team Line-ups.
Cardiff – Marshall (GK), Brayford, Turner, Morrison, John, Whittingham, Adeyemi, Gunnarson, Noone, Jones, Le Fondre.
Watford – Gomes (GK), Cathcart, Angella, Bassong, Anya, Tozser, Munari, Abdi, Pudil, Ighalo, Deeney ©
Referee – Stuart Attwell.