Often Partisan

Here We Go Again – Watford Preview

After what seems like an incredibly long close season, the time has arrived and the action returns on the pitch. Gianfranco Zola brings a Watford side that narrowly missed out on promotion last time out and will be looking to start with a bang.


Despite having a transfer embargo due to the issues of a previous owner and changes to the international loan rules, Watford have somehow managed to retain the vast majority of the players that were loaned to them from sister sides Granada and Udinese last season.

Watford have no injury issues that I can find and thus Zola has a full squad to pick from, including Blues supporter Troy Deeney who is looking forward to the season as he told the official Watford site.


Blues have a couple of injury concerns in Nikola Zigic and Darren Ambrose who will probably both miss out due to a lack of match practice if anything else whilst Jonathan Spector, David Murphy and Will Packwood definitely miss out. Lee Novak and Kyle Bartley are both fit and pushing for inclusion.

The big question will be what formation with Clark go with – a 3-5-2 to counter Watford’s wingbacks and potentially leave out Blues’ best player in Chris Burke, or a 4-2-3-1 to accommodate Burke and leave the side open to the issues they had last year against the Hornets. As many as nine players (Darren Randolph, Neal Eardley, Kyle Bartley, Dan Burn, Andrew Shinnie, Scott Allan, Tom Adeyemi, Matt Green and Lee Novak) could make their competitive debuts for Blues – ten if Oliver Lee makes the bench – and it will be interesting to see how quickly that team could gel.

I have no expectations this season – if I was there I’d just hope for effort and commitment from the lads and take it from there. I think it’s going to be a tough slog results wise but Clark has assembled players who want to play for the club and I don’t think we can ask for more than that.

There will be a one minute silence prior to kick off in memory of Christian “Chucho” Benitez.

Please note, as I’m out of the country I won’t be writing a match report.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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38 Responses to “Here We Go Again – Watford Preview”

  • Carson Yeung says:

    I have very strong feeling we will both stay up by May!

  • Gabriel says:

    I definitely think 3-5-2 formation. Why would he operate that in most of our pre-season games, including against Hull last week, otherwise? We need to pack the midfield and stop Watford playing to get a positive result. Hopefully we can grab a point, but in all honesty I won’t be attaching too much importance to the game. KRO.

  • Luther says:

    An excellent preview. Good luck to the Blues this season!

  • crotcher88 says:

    come on blues we no its going to be hard and it will take a bit of time but let us all give our best shot kro good times will come back that’s just us

  • Thaiblue says:

    Im really looking forward to this season.I am not sure if confidence is the right word but this season is going to be better than most think.Good luck to all the new lads and play your heart out and win the supporters over from game one.KRO.

  • mark says:

    Surprise we are back, lets hope our home supporters are with us today…..imo only 451..but we will see….2-1 win again green to score again…. Confident why not….kro

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    Blues: 3

    Watford: 1

  • Jaffa says:

    Was i hearing things last night on the Tom Ross show.i only heard the last 5 minutes and im sure he said that the club had been sold and that he could’nt understand why the club was’nt saying anything.did anyone hear the show last night!!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Sky Bet, the new Football League sponsors, has Blues at 40/1 to win the Championship outright with only four clubs with longer odds.
    I think at that price Blues are worth a punt.

  • sutton apex says:

    must play 4 5 1 and hope for a draw i’m afraid – they are far more skilled than us, however our passion and hunger might sneak us a point
    2 – 1 to watford i fear

    • reggae72 says:

      The heart says a John Gayle-esqu diving header from Green on(89) to win it, then dedicating it to ‘Chucho’ by revealing a t-shirt underneath, but agreed,far more likely Watford will win this one 1-2 or 1-3, then we should bounce back with a win over a mediocre league 2 Plymouth side.

  • jasom says:

    Good luck my blue boys!!!! Matt Green hes a goal machine………new chant this season boys……gor a feeling we will be singing it a lot!!! KRO

  • Theurbaneguerilla says:

    Matt Green will be find of the season. 2-1 to blues today. No doubts. KRO

  • Sir Harry 1875 says:

    Good luck to Lee Clark and the Boys in Royal Blue. Give us all you’ve got every game and that will do for me.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    COYBB I can’t wait.

  • maurice walters from thailand says:

    not one team forcast must be a first

  • StaffsBlue says:


    Bartley Robinson Burn

    Eardley Adeyemi Reilly Allan Ferguson

    Novak Shinnie

    3-1 Blues

  • oldburyblue says:

    How nice to hear positive things again. That is what makes us Bluenoses different. We are generally realistic…but what they can’t take away is “The hope in our hearts”. Win, lose or draw….bring it on!

  • mike says:

    hi………….hope it stays nice…the pitch is green…we move forward with the ball…score a couple of goals…………..just for a little luck I have brought out my shirt that was used by stan lazaridis……….
    happy days……………….

  • bob jones says:

    come onmy blue boys iam 67 and lost in france wish i was there good luck to everyone there

  • Tony says:

    Well its a home loss and our best player gets 10 mins eerrrrr hello Mr Clark…

  • RichardM says:

    Good performance today against AS Roma reserves I felt and we were worthy of a point. Great to see and hear St. Andrews looking full and full of noise, and a performance full of energy and determination – which was so often missing last season.

    Let’s face it whatever the rights and wrongs of AS Roma reserves strategy, they are a damn good team that will easily finish top 6 this season, but we gave them a decent game today, with a team that barely knows each other yet. Bodes well for the future, and I thought Shinnie in particular looks a great acquisition and starred for Blues today. IS it just me or does Dan Burn look like Darren Purse?

  • chas says:

    Richard, I have never seen you so I couldnt say if you look like Darren purse or not. :-)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I noticed that Darren Carter was sent off (2 yellows) on his league debut for Northampton.

  • Stephen says:

    We played well with a team still getting to know each other, could have easily had a draw and for me sitting in the tilton deffo saw the same hand ball by a watford defender in the box as 5,000 other blues fans, the guy didn’t mean it but it still hit his arm after deflecting off his knee before it was cleared & the officials missed it, on another day and with a bit more luck we would have got a positive result.

    Some fans on here are unhappy that Burke was on the bench & are on clarke’s case already but they need to wake up and reslise that we have 46 league games to play & it’s a squad game so the moaners need to wind their necks in and give it a feckin chance, give Clarke and the new boys a feckin chance and how about getting behind them, sounds a novel idea hey!!!

    I for one was impressed with what the lads had to show today & i can take many positives out of the game. I’ve had a season ticket this year after 4 years out due to losing heart with the poor football we played but today we tried to play passing & attacking football against a good team, we did play well and we didn’t panic.

    Yes we had some missed placed passes, some wrong decisions made & needed a bit more luck but I’m happy because I saw 11 players busting a gut for the shirt, each other, the fans & the club & that’s all we can ask for & is something that’s been missing for a few years now. Goals will come & we will win more than we lose if we continue playing with the energy, positivity & guts that I saw today.

    I’m giving Clarke my full support because he’s building a decent team with both arms tied behind his back & today impressed me so I’m confident that we have the potential for a play off push.

    Another positive today was the fans, nearly 19,000 & the old atmosphere seemed to be back which I think coincides with blues being the underdog & with being a team of work horses who we can see sweating blood for the cause, long may that continue because the lads need us backing them…… No boos when we go in 1-0 down at half time which was nice because most fans reslise that it is counter productive & that the lads need our backing, lets make St Andrews a horrid place for away teams this season like the days before we got to the prem.

    Burke may have been on the bench today but he’ll get more than his fair share of game time & I hope to see Coby Arthur coming on later on in games to add pace and trickery to destroy defences when they are tired.

    Come on boys, roll on Tuesday…….. Football is back… Love it.

  • Poppa999 says:

    Watford 9 attempts, 6 on target, 58% possession
    does that sound like the game you watched yesterday?

  • Art Watson says:

    I’m will never be a Clark fan but he does have my sympathy at the moment.He can’t be expected to take this club forward without the necessary finance so we had better get use to losing more games than we did last season .The novelty of playing the youngsters will soon wear off and the fans will disappear in their droves.A successful team will maintain the support but this will not happen under the current regime.

    The only answer is a change of ownership and sorry to say that most Blues supporters appear to have accepted the current status quo without fighting for a change.

    If public image and reputation is so important to Carson and Pannu-why don’t we set up a petition to get these morons out and send it to the media in HK?Get it published in every newspaper with TV and Radio coverage as well-shame them publically !

    It may be worth a try as doing nothing is achieving nothing!

  • Art Watson says:


    As you know I actually live in Cyprus but assuming my idea was of interest to your membership and other Blues supporters Iwould be happy to organise a petition but would need some advice on the media contacts in HK.Contact details etc.etc.

    This is something I have never done before but would be happy to accept the challenge in order to help get rid of the current owners,

  • Art Watson says:

    Almajir ,

    Great news and thanks.i

    In order to make your membership aware of my intentions is it possible for you to advise them through a seperate blog as I think it would be worhwhile gageing the level of interest before setting up the petition.

    This will only work if we get a large amount of support and backing from the supporters and may be the trust group.

    • almajir says:

      A small point – it’s not “my membership” – I lead no group, there are no members, just people who read the site. All you have to do is to stick it in the comments, people will pick it up.

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