Watford vs Reading Match Preview.
Watford play Reading this Saturday at Vicarage Road, in a match where everyone involved with Watford Football Club will pray for Hornets fan Nic Cruwys who was viciously attacked after the Wolves game last weekend, and is currently in a critical condition in hospital.
The club are urging supporters to be in their seats at 2:45 tomorrow and the 1881 signing section have arranged for a minutes applause in the 44th minute of the game and will also be letting off 44 yellow balloons.
Watford come into the match in 3rd position, and are on the same points as Bournemouth, Derby and Middlesbrough who sit in 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively. Reading however, occupy 16th place in the table in what has been a season of mixed fortunes for the Royals.
During the match earlier this season at the Madejski Stadium, it was the Hornets who ran out 0-1 winners. Gabriele Angella was harshly sent off in the dieing minutes of the 1st half, however Watford managed to hang in there and secured the three points thanks to Almen Abdi’s striker in the 70th minute.
Reading are managed by former West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke, who replaced Nigel Adkins in December. Since taking over, he has overseen eight victories and has guided the Royals to the FA Cup Quarter Finals with Reading significantly taking on Bradford at the Madejski in an FA Quarter Final replay on Monday night.
Looking at the Reading squad and one man needs no introduction to Watford fans. Nathaniel Chalobah is a man known to all Hornets supporters, having been on loan with the Golden Boys for the 2012/13 season. The young midfielder put in a number of impressive performances for Watford scoring 5 goals in 42 appearances, including a spectacular long range strike against Leicester in April 2013. The 20 year old is now on loan with Reading until the end of the season after a failed loan spell at Burnley during the first half of the season.
The key player for Reading tomorrow will be midfielder Garath McCleary. He joined the Royals in Mary 2012 on a free transfer after rejecting a new deal at Nottingham Forest. The Jamaican international has proved himself to be a tricky opponent in this division and is certainly not afraid to shoot from distance, scoring fantastic goals against QPR and Burnley last season. The Watford defence will need to keep a close eye on McCleary who will be at the forefront of the majority of Reading’s attacks.
Despite sitting in 16th position, Reading will prove to be a tough test for the Golden Boys tomorrow, who will have to be at their best if they want to secure those all important three points.
For Watford, Tommie Hoban is suspended after being sent off last week for two book able offences, whilst Almen Abdi and Odion Ighalo will face late fitness tests. Sean Murray is ruled out.
For Reading, Steve Clarke could make changes to the side as he looks ahead to Monday’s FA Cup clash against Bradford on Monday night. Alex Pearce is fit whilst Yakubu, Jake Taylor, Hope Apkan and Stephen Kelly are all pushing for starts. New signing Zat Knight is awaiting international clearance.
Predicted Team Line-ups
Watford – Gomes (GK), Cathcart, Ekstrand, Angella, Paredes, Tozser, Watson, Guedioura, Anya, Deeney ©, Vydra.
Reading – Federici (GK), Gunter, Pearce ©, Cooper, Kelly, McCleary, Williams, Chalobah, Mackie, Pogrebnyak, Robson-Kanu.
Referee – Darren Bond.