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Opposition Report: Watford

Blues could make it three wins in succession with victory over the Hornets at St. Andrew's.

BCFC

A closer look at this afternoon's opponents....

FORM GUIDE

Like Blues, Watford come into today's St. Andrew's showdown with two wins, two draws and a defeat in their last five Sky Bet Championship fixtures. In the week, they easily overcame struggling Rotherham United 2-0, goals from Kabesele and Deeney doing the damage within fifteen first-half minutes. 

Table-wise, the Hornets are in fourth place in the table but a win today and other results going their way could take them top. 

It's goals against where the Hertfordshire outfit have been strongest this campaign - they've conceded just 12 goals in 17 league fixtures - boasting the second-best defensive record in the division. 

But away from home, the Hornets have struggled. They've won just once away from Vicarage Road, scoring three but at home, they've won seven out of nine. 

IN THE DUGOUT 

Vladimir Ivić was appointed Head Coach in August as the Pozzo family, who own Watford, opted to bring in their 9th manager in five years. The 43-year-old signed a one-year-deal, with the option of a further 12 months at the club's disposal. Away from England, the Serbian recently led Israeli giants Maccabi Tel-Aviv to two consecutive league titles and has also previously managed Greek club PAOK, where he won a domestic cup.

The 2018/19 season was Ivić's first with Maccabi, and he ended up winning the title by a record-setting 31 points, losing just one league game all season. He repeated the feat the next season too - his team lost just once on the final day as they breezed to another title. 

Willing to adjust his tactics week-by-week, Ivic has employed a number of formations throughout the season to good effect as Watford target an instant return to the Premiership. 

ONE TO WATCH

Jeremy Ngakia was signed as a free transfer from West Ham in the summer. The right-back possesses blistering pace, is comfortable going forward and is defensively sound too. Watford fans consider his set-piece delivery to be improving week-by-week as well. 

Just 20-years-old, the youngster broke into the Hammers squad before the first coronavirus lockdown and impressed. But he wasn't promised regular football in East London, so made the switch to Hertfordshire. 

LAST TIME OUT

It's been five years since the two sides met - largely because of Watford's recent time spent in the Premier League. But in April 2015's clash, it was the Hornet's who came out on top. Northern Irish international Craig Cathcart scored a stunner at Vicarage Road to keep Watford's promotion hopes alive - and several weeks later, they were back in the Premier League after finishing 2nd place.

In the 2014/15 season's other game against Watford, Blues were victorious, winning 2-1 at St. Andrew's. Clayton Donaldson grabbed both goals, Fernando Forestieri getting the Watford strike. 

PREVIOUS KNOCKINGS

46 games have been contested between Blues and Watford since their first meeting in 1931 - which was an FA Cup tie won 3-0 by Blues. Watford edge the record though, they've won 20, Blues 17 and there've been 9 draws. 

In recent years, games between the two sides have been fairly high-scoring affairs. Since 2010, there've been eight encounters and 19 goals scored. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Founded in 1881, the club were first known as Watford Rovers. They then went on to be called West Herts but in 1898 they dropped that and stuck with Watford FC. But it wasn't until 1903 when the club appointed it's first ever manager - former England international John Goodall. So for 22 years, the largely amateur club didn't have a gaffer at the helm.

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