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Watford Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 09/02/2002

WITH their fans eagerly watching them on the box on Sunday afternoon, Paul Groves' men will be looking to kick-start their season, with hopefully, a win!

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

The Bottom Line

Town lost last weekend (again), but this one was in more than controversial circumstances than usual. Town were dominating the game until a rather innocuous sending off occurred, with loan man Robert Taylor being dismissed. All this makes Sundays game a must win game, and Town fans will hope that against an inconsistent Watford side, their day will come. Watford themselves are having a quiet season in mid table when most expected them to challenge for the play offs. Under the leadership of Gianluca Vialli they have stumbled of late and fans are calling for his head already!!!

Recent Form


LYork (Cup)(h)0-1
DWest Brom(a)0-0
LMan City(h)1-2

Overall League Record






Alan Pouton

Surprisingly restored to the side nearly two months out last week, the tough tackling and forward thinking midfielder will be a threat in the Watford midfield area. Capable of making runs and setting up goals, boss Paul Groves will look to the former York City man to put in a decent performance. Poutons form will be one of the deciding factors in this relegation battle.

Gifton Noel Williams

Traditional English forward, who is still only 21. Very capable of holding up the ball, Noel Williams was given a new contract last season that saw him sign up until 2003. Noel Williams burst onto the scene in the 1997/98 season at the age of only 17 when he helped the club gain promotion, with of course Grimsby Town and Bristol City. A talented player who is likely to cause problems in the Town rearguard. Has scored six goals this season.

Town Team News

  • Town have worries over midfielder Stacy Coldicott and defender Simon Ford, who are both rated 50:50 for the game. If Coldicott fails to make it then Wayne Burnett will step in, while boss Paul Groves will probably play instead of Ford anyway.
  • Much depends on Town's formation, which could stay 4-4-2 or alternatively go to 3-5-2 which has worked well away from home this season.
  • Elsewhere, everyone is fit for selection except Steve Livingstone who is still a few weeks off full fitness.

  • Watford Team News

  • Stephen Hughes, Allan Nielsen, Nordin Wooter and Paolo Vernazza are all injured, while although Pierre Issa has returned from international duty, he is ill so will miss out.
  • Elsewhere, Marcus Gayle and Town target Wayne Brown will make way for Tommy Smith and Paul Robinson to return to the starting eleven.
  • Heidar Helguson serves the last game of his suspension.

  • Expected Line Ups


    Danny Coyne
    Welsh goalkeeper who was called up to represent his Country this week. Talented stopper who has improved immensely these last 18 months.
    John McDermott
    Town's longest serving player and league appearance holder. Returned to the side last week after being injured since September.
    Paul Raven
    Traditional English centre half who is in the last year of his contract. Made his first start of the year last week when Paul Groves was suspended.
    Paul Groves
    Player boss who in recent years has transformed himself into a central defender rather than his traditional midfield berth.
    Tony Gallimore (c)
    Accomplished left back who has had another fairly consistent season, missing just four league games.
    Stuart Campbell
    Versatile midfielder who signed for the Mariners permanently this summer after a loan spell last season.
    Stacy Coldicott
    Aggressive midfield player who is in his fourth season with the club after joining Town in 1998 for £160,000
    Alan Pouton
    Physical player who will be expected to stay in the centre of the park after playing earlier parts of the season on the wing. Fans favourite who gives his all.
    Menno Willems
    Dutch midfielder who played in a reasonably unfamiliar left midfield position last week, after playing in the middle for much of the season.
    Phil Jevons
    Could return to the line up after missing out in the last two games. Towns top scorer with 8 goals, Jevons has settled in well since his summer move.
    Robert Taylor
    On loan striker who plays his last game for Town, unless his loan is extended. Big player who looks like he could get a goal - a trait unknown for a Grimsby player!
    Alec Chamberlain
    Experienced goalkeeper with over 600 appearances to his credit. Joined the club in 1996 and since has become ever popular with the fans.
    Patrick Blondeau
    Tough tackling right back who had a spell in England with Sheffield Wednesday in 1997 before joining Moncao.
    Filippo Galli
    37 year old Italian defender who played for AC Milan in a more than successful career- winning the Champions league three times and the Serie A five times - not bad!
    Ramon Vega
    Swiss defender who has had spells with Spurs and Celtic before joining the Hornets in the summer when Gianluca Vialli took over.
    Paul Robinson
    23 year old defender who was given his bow under Graham Taylor and is now an important part of Mr Vialli's plans - just returned from injury.
    Jermaine Pennant
    Exciting right midfielder who has been signed on loan from Arsenal. A very pacey player who has several England Under 21 caps to his name.
    Paul Okon
    Australian international player who is comfortable in either defence or midfield. Signed for Watford last month from Middlesbrough.
    Micah Hyde
    Versatile midfield player who scored two goals against Town when Watford won 3-0 back in October. Signed in 1997 from Cambridge United.
    Lee Cook
    Left sided midfield player who returned to the side against Burnley on Wednesday after a long time out injured.
    Gifton Noel-Williams
    Big striker who is a fans favourite, nicknamed "Gifted" Noel Williams. He will certainly hoping to use this "gift" on Sunday.
    Tommy Smith
    22 year old striker who scored 11 goals last season. Broke into the team at the same time as Noel Williams and the pair have forged an excellent partnership over the years.

    Michael Boulding
    Simon Ford
    Danny Butterfield
    Wayne Burnett
    Steve Croudson (GK)
    Marcus Gayle
    Wayne Brown
    Stephen Glass
    David Noble
    Espen Baardsen (GK)

    Last Time Out

    The last time the two teams came face to face was in October, the home game after Towns fantastic Cup win over Liverpool. Town fans were hoping for a great spectacle, but they didn't, with Watford running out easy 3-0 victors. Young David Noble and Micah Hyde (2) got the goals.

    Grimsby: Coyne, Neilsen, Gallimore, Broomes, Groves, Pouton, Campbell, Butterfield, Willems, Jevons, Rowan.
    Subs: Croudson (GK), Allen, Chapman, Boulding, Beharall  Report

    Watford Head-to-Head (77th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    It doesn't really seem to matter what I predict, Town will loose! But I can't say that we'll get caned simply because I'll be accused of being too pessemistic. I just really hope that Town give a good account of themselves on TV and hopefully that will mean a win, because it has got to come sometime!

    Prediction: 2-1 to the Mighty Mariners. Reader's POMs


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