Bristol City vs Watford Preview: Team News and Predicted Lineups
Tonight, Bristol City host Watford at Ashton Gate, in a fixture that consists of two teams who currently sit in a play-off position.
The two teams haven’t faced each other since the 2017/2018 season, where they played two fixtures at Vicarage Road in two different cup competitions.
In August 2017, the Robins faced the Hornets in the second round of the Carabao Cup, in their excellent cup run where they eventually lost in the semi-final, as the visitors triumphed over a Premier League side 3-2.
Marco Silva did get his revenge on the South West dark horses in the third round of the FA Cup though, as Watford earned themselves a 3-0 win against a weakened Bristol City side, as they prepared for their first leg against Manchester City in the League Cup a couple of days later.
This fixture will be extremely different to either fixture back then, as both try and earn themselves promotion to the Premier League, I am expecting an extremely competitive game.
Dean Holden, in what is effectively his first full campaign as a head coach, has predicament tonight with a possible eight players out of tonight’s game.
In his press conference, Holden did talk about an unnamed player picking up an injury in their home win against Derby County on Saturday, so that could rule a player out of the predicted lineup.
However, Adrian Mariappa who was released by The Hornets in the summer after making 295 appearances for Watford in two different spells, could make his debut for his new team as he signed for Bristol City on the 11th November.
With no Andi Weimann, Liam Walsh or Joe Williams, and Tyreeq Bakinson in midfield, I expect a 3-5-2 or a 4-3-3 formation to be played, though The Robins are blessed in quality and depth in midfield. Both Chris Brunt and Han-Noah Massengo are both options to play, as the latter re-joins the squad.
In attack, Holden can have no qualms, as a number of players try and stake their name for a starting spot. I expect Semenyo and Wells to start out wide and cause Watford’s defence all sorts of problems, with Diedhiou playing in a central role.
Predicted Bristol City Lineup (4-3-3): Bentley; Hunt, Vyner, Kalas, Dasilva; Brunt, Paterson, O’Dowda; Semenyo, Diedhiou, Wells
Vladimir Ivic will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing draw at QPR on Saturday with a result and performance which will leave a statement.
Stipe Perica, who scored his first goal for Watford against Bournemouth on Sky Sports, returns from injury to be available for selection for tonight’s game. As is Christian Kabasele, who may be rested as a caution.
Unfortunately, Will Hughes will once again miss out for Watford, who is yet to make a start this season due to injury. Tom Cleverley is also likely to miss out.
This does leave for fierce competition across the whole pitch, which they say is a nice problem for managers to have, but I do not think I would like to be Vladimir Ivic in dropping some quality players to the bench today.
Predicted Watford Lineup (3-5-2): Foster; Troost-Ekong, Cathcart, Wilmot; Femenia, Garner, Capoue, Chalobah, Sema; Sarr, Pedro