Date: 17th July 2012 at 11:16am
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So, Gianfranco Zola’s first match, albeit unofficial, as Watford manager has arrived. No doubt his high profile appointment may have added a couple of hundred or so to the gate tonight. This will be the first time Zola has managed in England since his last match in charge of West Ham back in May 2010.

I’m not sure we can expect to read too much into tonight`s game about anything that will be developing tactically over the Zola era. Notoriously the opening pre season matches are for players to regain some fitness and i fully expect towards the latter stages a farcical amount of substitutions to take place to ensure everyone gets some game time. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me to see two different teams take to the field in each half. I’m sure Zola will have us playing decent football already but i would say it won’t be until the final two pre season games against Tottenham Hotspur and Gillingham that we will have an idea as to how Zola will play.

It is worth noting Watford will not be given an easy ride during tonight`s match. Boreham Wood finished a respectable 8th in the Blue Square Beth South last season and held Stevenage to a 1-1 draw in their first pre season friendly on Saturday. Watford used Boreham Wood as their first pre season friendly last season too and were held to a 2-2 draw at Meadow Park with John Eustace and Piero Mingoia grabbing the goals for the Hornets.

In terms of team news there is never much to go on in pre seasons friendlies about team news but one piece of news we can bring you is that former Watford midfielder Chez Isaac who was released at the end of last season is now on the books at Boreham Wood and may well play tonight.

Again with Watford, there is not much in the way of team news except to say we expect every member of the squad to get given some game time. However with it being the opening pre season game any player that has any kind of a knock or injury will surely not be risked at all.

With this being the first match of Watford’s pre-season preparations, Zola will most likely take the opportunity to look at as many members of his first-team squad as possible.



Whether or not there will be room for Udinese and Granada pair Matej Vydra and Daniel Pudil remains to be seen. The pair have been on trial at the Hornet’s UCL training ground in London Colney, and despite tweeting about their moves to Watford, there has yet to be any official confirmation from the club. 



Kick-off at 19.30

Tickets available on the door.

Next up for Watford is a trip to Grosvenor Vale, Wealdstone on Saturday 21st July.


For updates & team news, follow @VitalWatford on Twitter.