Watford head to Middlesbrough fresh from their 3-0 trouncing of Ipswich Town at Portman Road in midweek.
Tony Mowbray’s ‘Boro have improved under the former Celtic and West Brom man but have as yet failed to really impose themselves on the higher echelons of the league.
Malky Mackay on Lee Hodson
The gaffer tells The Watford Observer that Lee Hodson has an outside chance of playing on Saturday:
“Lee came out and took part in the warm up today [Thursday] and we will see tomorrow whether he can play on Saturday. He will travel with the squad, it is just a matter of whether he will play.
“Lloyd suffered a heavy knock on his knee and we will see tomorrow whether he will play.”
Middlesbrough Team News:
‘Boro have a plethora of injuries to contend with ahead of this one.
Leroy Lita (hamstring), Jason Steele (side), Julio Arca (knee and toe), Andrew Davies (hamstring), Matt Bates (hamstring), Danny Coyne (hernia), Will Flood (thigh), Kevin Thomson (leg) and Justin Hoyte (hamstring) are all out.
Line-up Vs. Portsmouth: Smith; McMahon, Hines, Williams, Bennett, Robson (c), Bailey, Smallwood, Taylor, Lita and McDonald.
Player to watch: Nicky Bailey
Box-to-box midfielder signed from Charlton for a seven figure fee after a hugely impressive two seasons at the Valley.
The former non-leaguer previously turned out for Barnet and Southend before moving to South London where he notched double figures twice in two years before the Addicks were relegated.
Watford Team News:
Lloyd Doyley could miss the Middlesbrough clash whilst Lee Hodson could be fit for a quick return from an ankle injury.
If both were to miss out Adam Thompson and Aidy Mariappa would play at full-back.
Dale Bennett would come into central defence.
Stephen McGinn is a long-term injury with knee ligament damage.
Likely Line-up: Loach; Thompson, Bennett, Taylor, Mariappa; Eustace (c); Cowie, Jenkins, Buckley; Deeney and Graham.
Player to watch: Troy Deeney
The bulky forward ‘scored’ against Ipswich only to see the goal later handed to Danny Graham and has impressed in recent weeks.
Whether he starts out wide or up top in his natural position, Deeney always gives 100% and will be looking to prove the doubters wrong.
Match Facts & Stats
Middlesbrough home form: Lost Vs. QPR, Drew Vs. Forest and Won Vs. Derby.
Head2Head Form: Boro 4-1 Watford (06/07), Boro 0-1 Watford, Watford 1-1 Boro (09/10) and Watford 3-0 Boro (10/11)
Watford away form: Drew @ Doncaster, Drew @ Swansea and Won @ Ipswich.
Referee: Mr G SUTTON
Assistants: Mr G Stott & Mr D Storrie
Fourth Official: Mr D McCallum
Another win for Watford. Middlesbrough are in a transitional season (again) and Danny Graham and co. will look to take full advantage of that once more.
Middlesbrough: 11/8 Totesport
raw: 5/2 Victor Chandler
atford: 9/4 Victor Chandler