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Watford Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 18/10/2001

SO FAR, it's been a bit of a topsy-turvy season for the Mariners, after the fantastic 2-1 win against Liverpool, Town lost at Sheffield United last week, and now will be looking to get right back on track with a win against Watford.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Watford (h)

The Story So Far


Town have endured a strange old start to the season. After their fantastic early form that saw them top of the table, they now lie in 17th place after loosing their last four league games. The strange thing is, that in the middle of this crisis, they beat cup treble winners Liverpool in a exciting 2-1 win at Anfield. However, the Mariners came right back down to earth with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United last Saturday, and with the team down to it's bare bones, a huge team effort is needed to lift themselves out of what could become a relegation dogfight.

Watford have made a similar start to Town, currently lying just a place behind them in 18th place. The London side have been full of goals, but losses to the likes of Crewe and Norwich as well as local neighbours WBA and Wolves have set Gianluca Vialli's plans back. However the last 5 games have seen just one loss, and wins against Bradford and Sheffield Wednesday will give them confidence to go on and put some good results together, but hopefully that will wait until after Saturday.

Recent Form


LSheff Utd(a) 1-3
WLiverpool(a)2-1 AET
LGillingham(h) 1-2
WSheff Wed(h)3-1

Overall League Record



Leading Goalscorers (League + Cup)


Noel Wills'3

Town Team News

  • Depending of clearance, Alan Neilson will start at right back for Town in a 4-4-2 system, meaning Ben Chapman will drop down to the bench, at most, with Danny Butterfield in midfield.
  • Menno Willems will return to the lineup, now that David Beharall is free to partner Paul Groves.
  • Mike Jeffrey, Steve Livingstone, Paul Raven and David Smith are all definitely out, while Stacy Coldicott expects to be on the bench

  • Watford Team News

  • Marcus Gayle will return to the squad after recent illness, but Gianluca Vialli will probably stick with the Noel Williams/ Smith combination that bagged three goals against Sheffield Wednesday.
  • Ramon Vega is expected to play instead of Neil Cox, who'll drop to the bench.
  • Other than that, apart from long term injuries to the likes of Paulo Veranzza, Watford have a fully fit squad to pick from.

  • Expected Line Ups


    Danny Coyne
    Welsh international who has been simply immense for Town these past two seasons. Rightly won his place back in the Welsh squad last month, and after a virtuoso display against Liverpool, will be looking to continue it in the league.
    Alan Neilson
    Experienced defender formerly of Newcastle and Southampton who signed from Fulham on Friday. Brought in to cover for veteran John McDermott, meaning Danny Butterfield is able to move into the midfield.
    Tony Gallimore
    Solid left back who is a undoubtedly Town's first choice in that position, after signing for Town in 1996 from Carlisle for £230,000.
    Paul Groves (c)
    Captain magnificent who has played over 300 games for the Mariners. Made the transition from central midfield to centre defence with ease and is now equally important in the defence as he was in midfield.
    David Beharall
    Defender whose fate is future at the club is still unknown, but is expected to have tied up a season long loan with the Mariners by Saturday to take his place in defence with Paul Groves.
    Stuart Campbell
    Signed in the summer from Leicester after a loan spell last season. A hard working midfielder who can play anywhere across the midfield, but of late has played down the left.
    Alan Pouton
    All action midfielder who despite preferring a role in the centre of the park, has had to play down the right wing this season. This has not stopped his progress, putting in some great displays.
    Danny Butterfield
    Accomplished midfield player who just lately has covered at right back. Now Alan Nielsen has been signed for a year, it gives the 22 year old the chance to move back into an engine room where he has played a huge role in this season.
    Menno Willems
    Fiesty midfielder who has been out of the last four games with injury. Signed for £160,000 last season and looks like a bargain, putting in some commanding displays in the centre of midfield.
    Phil Jevons
    Scouser who was signed from Everton in the summer for £250,000.Scored THAT fantastic 35 yarder against Liverpool to send them into the next round of the cup.
    Johnny Rowan
    Young striker who has improved a lot this season, and is now joint top scorer with Phil Jevons, forming a potent partnership with him. Will look to improve more in a bid to send Town higher up the table.
    Espen Baardsen
    Norwegian international keeper who joined Watford last season from Tottenham Hotspur. The 24 year old has had to stave off competition from veteran Alec Chamberlain for the No. 1 jersey.
    Patrick Blondeau
    Fiery right back who was signed by Gianluca Vialli this summer. Has previously had a spell in the English league with Sheffield Wednesday.
    Ramon Vega
    Swiss centre half signed from Celtic this summer having previously played for Tottenham. Been criticised for some poor performances, but has come good of late, scoring in the Hornets 4-1 win over Bradford in the Cup.
    Paul Robinson
    23 year old centre half who has blossomed in central defence in recent years. After being given his debut in the 1996-97 season, he became a regular under Graham Taylor and is now an important part of Gianluca Vialli's plans.
    Filippo Galli
    Vastly experienced 37 year old who was brought in, as a friend of Mr Vialli's to add some steel and experience to the defence, and has done so with some strong and powerful displays at the back.
    Stephen Glass
    Tricky wide player who was yet another of Vialli's signings in the summer, coming on a Bosman from Newcastle, Glass used to play for Aberdeen and has one cap for Scotland.
    Stephen Hughes
    Yet another new signing, joining in the summer on a bosman from Everton. Started his career at Arsenal, where he was touted a big player for the future, but then after a move to Everton things went wrong and is now looking to get back on track with Watford.
    Micah Hyde
    Versatile and skilful midfielder who was signed back in 1997 from Cambridge by Graham Taylor. Since then he has been a regular in the side and will be an important part of Watford's success this season.
    Dominic Foley
    Tricky left sided player with 6 Republic of Ireland caps to his name. Has played for Notts County and Wolves in the past and has proved a tricky customer for opposing defenders.
    Gifton Noel Williams
    21 year old who burst onto the scene at the age of 17, when he scored 2 goals in his first season. His physical presence and pace makes his a huge asset, and has formed a good partnership with Tommy Smith up front this season.
    Tommy Smith
    At just 22 years of age, Tommy Smith is regarded as one of the leagues top strikers. His pace and finishing got him 11 goals last season and will look to repeat that form this.

    Bradley Allen
    Stacy Coldicott
    Marlon Broomes
    Michael Boulding
    Steve Crousdon (GK)
    Neil Cox
    Marcus Gayle
    Heider Helguson
    Nordin Wooter
    Alec Chamberlain (GK)

    Last Time Out

    Of course the last time the two sides came face to face was only this April, when a crucial 2-1 victory for Town saw them move away from the foot of the table. Goals from Peter Handyside and Stacy Coldicott were vital after Tommy Mooney had put Watford into a half time lead in front of 6,610 anxious Town fans.

    Town Team: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Handyside, Pouton, Campbell, Coldicott, Donovan, Livingston, Cornwall.
    Subs: Jeffrey, D Smith, Willems, Butterfield, Hyldgaard.


    Watford Head-to-Head (74th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    Surely there has to be a win on the horizon for Town. Town cannot afford to loose, and I hope they won't. So, in an attempt to get those three points we need, I will, like I did against Liverpool, predict Town will loose, hoping that like the Liverpool game, we win. So, I very confidently say Town will lose 3-1!

    Prediction: 3-1 to Watford. Reader's POMs


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