b>A BUSY February is drawing to a close for Watford who play host to Bristol City this Tuesday evening at Vicarage Road. It’s been a disappointing February for the Goldenboys who will be looking for a first win in seven league and cup games having previously won seven on the trot at the tail end of 2010.
The Robins are also struggling having picked up two wins this calender year, albeit they were 3-0 and 4-0 trashings against Cardiff City and Preston North End respectively.
Throw in at the deep end just two games into the season, ex-Hornet Keith Millen has done a good job of keeping the Robins afloat after all the early season disarray which saw manager Steve Coppell ‘retire’ just two games into the campaign.
With a few handy Premier League loan signings including former ‘Orn Danny Rose, his Spurs team-mate Steven Caulker and Wolves frontman Andy Keogh, City look a decent bet to remain a Championship side once more next term.
Watford Team News: Lloyd Doyley was no-where to be seen on Saturday in terms of the match day because of a recurrance of his recent hamstring injury. Lee Hodson filled in at left-back with fellow academy graduate Adam Thompson doing the duties at right-back. Unless Doyley returns the defence should remain the same.
In midfield, winger Will Buckley missed out his third game in a row still hampered by the knock to the ankle he took against Burnley. Stephen McGinn went off at Reading with stomach cramps but is likely to be fit. Matty Whichelow got his just reward for a goal and an assist against Preston with a rare start.
Up top Andi Weiman and Danny Graham seem set to continue.
Likely line-up: Loach; Thompson, Mariappa, Taylor, Hodson; Eustace ©; Whichelow, McGinn, Cowie; Weimann and Graham.
Home Form: Watford 1-1 Crystal Palace, Watford 1-2 Burnley and Watford 2-2 Preston North End.
Head2Head Form: Watford 2-4 Bristol City (08/09); Bristol City 2-2 Watford, Watford 2-0 Bristol City (09/10); Bristol City 0-2 Watford (10/11).
Bristol City Team News: Defender James Wilson is out with a knee injury whilst former Watford loanee Danny Rose is sidelined with back and hamstring problems.
Former Ipswich Town forward Jon Stead has an ankle issue sidelining him.
Line-up Vs. Leicester City: James; Carey (c), Caulker, McAllister, Fontaine; Woolford, Cisse, Elliott, Adomah; Keogh and Clarkson.
Ex-Hornets: David James made his name with Watford in the late 80’s before moving onto pastures new with Liverpool for a fee of £1m. In his long and well-established career the Welwyn Garden City-born stopper has amassed 53 England caps.
James has also plied his trade in the Premier League for Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth where he reached two F.A Cup Finals.
In recent years the 40 year-old has shaken the ‘dodgy’ tag and become England’s number one, though his slide in the Championship despite Premier League and SPL offers has since as good as signalled the end of his England career.
The agile stopper recently penned a years extension to his Ashton Gate contract.Watford Career: 89 Starts
Keith Millen was a Hornet between 1994 and 1999 overseeing some of the most exciting times in the club’s history as Graham Taylor oversaw back-to-back promotions to the Premier League before Millen left to join Bristol City.
He retired with the Robins aged 36 and joined the coaching staff where he was twice appointed caretaker manager before taking the job permanently after Coppell’s shock departure.
Millen began his career at Brentford where he made over 300 league appearances. Watford Career: 165 (6 Goals)
Danny Rose spent a brief period on loan at the Vic’ under Brendan Rodgers in 2009 where he never really got going.
Signed on March 24th he spent just under two months on loan in WD18 and proved horribly inconsistent as the Goldenboys avoided relegation.Watford Career: 3 + 4.
Away Form: Nnottingham Forest 1-0 Bristol City, Preston North End 0-4 Bristol City ans Leicester City 2-1 Bristol City.
Match Officials: Referee: Mr R Shoebridge; Assistants: Mr W Watkin and Mr C Berry; Fourth Official: Mr S Rubery.
Match Odds: Watford 4/5 (Stan James) Bristol City: 4/1 (Paddy Power) Draw 27/10 (Bet 365)