Watford V Bolton Match Preview.
HOORAY! Football is back! Watford are back and we can finally head to Vicarage Road again for another season of twists and turns. It isn’t the same without football on a Saturday and it’s been over three months now since we all left the Vic after a disastrous 1-4 defeat to Huddersfield on the final day of the season where frankly, the Watford players already looked on their holidays. We can, hopefully, move on from that now and forget tromping around the shops on a weekend as the season begins for Football League clubs.
For a change, Watford are at home on the opening day of the season, the first time the Hornets have been so for five seasons. Bolton Wanderers are the hornets opponents tomorrow at Vicarage Road and Beppe Sannino’s side will want to kick off the season in style against the Trotters.
During the two games between the sides last season, Bolton did the double over the Orns, with a 0-1 win at Vicarage Road thanks to a fortuitous goal from Jermaine Beckford in November and a 2-0 win at the Macron stadium in February.
Last season was disappointing for the Trotters, with many fans predicting Bolton to be in the Play Off mix, as the club looked to bounce back from their relegation to the Championship in May 2012. After a slow start to the season where the club were lying dangerously close to the relegation zone, Bolton did pick up after the midway point of the season and the whites managed a 14th place finish.
Former Crystal Palace manager, Dougie Freedman, is the man at the helm at Bolton and the Scotsman has wasted no time in strengthening his side ahead of the 2014/15 season. Last seasons loanees, Neil Danns, Liam Feeney and Liam Trotter have all joined the club on permanent deals from Leicester and Millwall, whilst Kevin McNaughton has also returned on a season long loan from Cardiff. Freedman has also added Charlton defender Dorian Dervite and Crystal Palace full back Dean Moxey as well as youngsters Andy Robinson and Quade Taylor to his squad, as the Trotters look to mount a play off challenge.
However the club have lost influential midfielder Chris Eagles and captain Zat Knight, who are two of many players to leave the club on free transfers. Former hornet Marvin Sordell has also decided to leave for pastures new, with the striker joining newly promoted Burnley for £500,000, linking up with Sean Dyche, who managed the 23 year old at Watford.
Bolton’s key player tomorrow will be midfielder Jay Spearing. The former Liverpool man joined the club for an undisclosed fee from the reds on the 8th August 2013 after a successful season long loan the year before, putting pen to paper on a four year deal. The industrious midfielder is at the heart of Bolton’s best move’s and also knows where the goal is as well after scoring twice last season. Spearing also has a good eye for a pass and if the Hornets want to win tomorrow, they cannot afford to give the former Liverpool man lots of time on the ball.
The Hornets will want to kick off the season in style and will surely want to avenge last seasons defeats by the Trotters. However, Bolton cannot be under estimated by Watford and the Whites will prove a stern test tomorrow for the Golden Boys.
Another season is about to kick off. And boy, I cannot wait!
For Watford, new signing Craig Cathcart, midfielder Sean Murray and striker Uche Ikpeazu are all out through injury. New signing Keith Andrews is ineligible to play against his parent club. New signings Heurelho Gomes, Gabriel Tamas, Juan Carlos Paredes, Lloyd Dyer, Odion Ighalo, Gianni Munari could all make their debuts whilst Matej Vydra and Daniel Tozser could also make their first appearances since signing loan deals to return to Watford FC.
For Bolton, their only injury doubt is Mark Davies, who Dougie Freedman says is 60/40 as to whether he can play. New signings Neil Danns, Dorian Dervite, Liam Feeney, Dean Moxey and Kevin McNaughton could all make their debuts.
Predicted Team Line-ups
Watford – Gomes (GK); Hoban, Tamas, Angella; Anya, Tozser, Abdi, Mcgugan, Pudil, Deeney (C), Vydra.
Bolton – Lonergan (GK); McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Moxey, Feeney, Spearing (C), Medo, Danns, Trotter, Beckford.
Referee – Carl Boyeson