Derby v Watford Match Preview.
Watford head to the Ipro Stadium tomorrow to play Derby County in the Sky Bet Championship as the Hornets look to recover from Mondays 2-1 defeat to QPR in which they were the better side for large parts of the match. Derby have already sealed a play off position and lie in 3rd place in the table whilst the Hornets lay in 12th position in the table and could move up to 11th with a win depending on results. In the match earlier this season at Vicarage Road, Derby ran out 2-3 winners thanks to a late Conor Sammon goal in what was an undeserved defeat for the golden boys where a draw was probably a fair result. Derby are managed by Steve McClaren who has done an excellent job since taking over from Nigel Clough and has been behind Derbys resurgence up the table. McClaren took over in late September and was awarded the Manager Of The Month award in December. The goals of striker Chris Martin have have been essential to Derbys rise with Martin notching 22 in all competitions this season. Their key player tomorrow will be midfielder Craig Bryson. Bryson has been in super form this season and the midfielder has notched 16 goals and is a key part of McClarens team. Without him their midfield is not the same. Their are three players that Watford fans will recognise among the Derby squad and those are John Eustace, Craig Forsyth and George Thorne. Midfielder George Thorne spent a loan spell at Watford earlier on in the season making 8 appearances for Watford between November and January. Craig Forsyth spent two years at Watford before joining Derby last summer. Signed from Dundee, Forsyth who now plays as a left back, scored 5 goals including goal of the season contenders against Leicester and Bradford in 26 appearances for the Golden Boys. He was a first team regular under Sean Dyche but failed to hold down a place under Gianfranco Zola and was sold to Derby in the summer after having a succesful loan spell with the Rams late on in the 2012-13 season. John Eustace will be fondly remembered by Watford fans. Eustace captained the Hornets for 3 seasons and scored 16 goals in 157 appearances since joining the Hornets from Stoke in 2008. He will be remebered for his two bicycle kick goals and for his grafting performances and was a fans favourite among Watford fans. Despite having an injury disrupted season last year, Eustace was still praised by Gianfranco Zola and was offered a player/coach role at the club to which Eustace declined as he felt that he wanted to play for some more seasons. The gap that Eustace has left this season in the midfield has been noticeable with many fans regretting the clubs decision of letting Eustace go.
For Derby, Steve McClaren has a fully fit squad.
For Watford, Ikechi Anya returns for Watford after missing the two previous matches. Fernando Forestieri is out through a toe injury whilst Lloyd Doyley and Cristian Battochio are also in contention.
Predicted Team Lineups
Derby - Grant (GK), Wisdom, Buxton, Keogh (C), Forsyth, Hendrick, Eustace, Bryson, Russell, Martin, Ward.
Watford - Almunia (GK)(C), Angella, Cassetti, Ekstrand, Pudil, Tozser, Abdi, Battochio, Anya, Deeney, Ranegie.
Referee - Scott Duncan.