Tuesday, 21 August 2012

'We have Almunia now which is probably an upgrade': Watford vs Ipswich Preview

  • Ipswich Town head to Watford tonight, a team they haven't beaten for eight years…

    As if you haven't heard that enough today, right?!

    I've spoken to a Hornets fan about whether that record makes him more confident. But first, what can Town fans expect from their trip to West London today?

    The truth is, whether they return with three points or none Vicarage Road has long been one of my favourite away days.

    Being so easy to get to from Central London is definitely it's biggest plus point: there's three train stations to chose from which use National Rail, Overground and Underground trains. I recommend Watford Junction, from where you can walk down Clarendon Road onto Watford High Street.

    Here there really are a huge number of pubs to chose from. It's always easiest to go for a Wetherspoons pub and the Moon Under Water is one of my favourites: it has a massive bar, lots of seats and a sizeable beer garden. I liked it so much here I made a return visit when my sister and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in April.

    Alternatively, I know a lot of town fans enjoyed their welcome at Old Fellows on Fearnley Street which is just behind the High Street and a little closer to the ground.

    If you're driving, plenty of multi-storey car parks are signposted the minute you get into Watford and they're all based on the one way system - I have used Church and Queens. I've tried finding on street parking here before but never succeeded, you've been warned!

    Finally, a MASSIVE tip for the ladies -go to the toilet BEFORE you get to the ground and refrain from drinking until you leave!! There are THREE cubicles for ladies in the whole of the away stand and last year the queue went from the concourse, back into the stadium and down several steps. One steward actually apologised to me for the wait and explained 'we have this problem every week'.

    So I can pretty much guarantee you a good evening off the pitch, but what about on it? What can we expect from Watford tonight?

    I spoke to Watford blogger James Fitz about his views on tonight's match:

    It's been an interesting summer for Watford, can you sum it up for us?

    It is a Summer which one would never want to end; but, with the closing of the transfer window, the reality of hard work and graft are just around the corner and it's something everyone is keen to focus on. 

    The Pozos are now the new owner of Watford FC and their ownership of Udinese and Granada has offered a loan facility to the club. Sean Dyche is unfortunately gone and Gianfranco Zola is now the new manager of the club.

    You had a great start to the season (two late goals saw Watford seal victory at Crystal Palace in the 90th minute), what were your first impressions from that game?

    It was a great result, but Palace can consider themselves unlucky to lose having been 2:1 up. I dare not take negatives from a win on your first match, let alone your first away match, but I'm afraid defensively we will either have to improve, or expect the bottom half of the division to gobble us up effectively.

    What are your expectactions for Watford this year?

    This question is best answered after about four weeks ,but I will say this: if the 'loanees' from Udinese and Granada (example Pudil with 22 international appearances for The Czech Republic) play well then I expect we will challenge for sixth, if they flop, then we could struggle to be outside the fight in the bottom six.

    What are you expecting from Ipswich tonight?

    I'm expecting a feisty encounter from a young Ipswich side with a lot to prove. They have the talent in Chopra and Scotland you constantly flatter to deceive and a young group. 

    Ipswich have spent a lot, they have a good manager who at one stage was in for the Republic of Ireland job, so I expect them to turn up to win.

    You're known as our bogey team, are your fans as aware of that as ours!?

    I'm sure the fans know the names of the teams we beat on a regular basis, as there are not many we have such a great record against! You don't have a John Wark up front any more, but you do have good players.

    Tonight sees a very quick return for keeper Scott Loach; how do you think he'll be received and what are your opinions on him?

    He's obviously a good keeper, but whether the fans will give him a good reception or not may be down to him deciding to jump the other way if we get a penalty! We have Almunia now which is probably an upgrade but maybe Scott will be as good if not better in the future.

    Finally, can I get a score prediction and a 'player to watch' for you guys please?

    Murray is the player to watch: the Irish International is highly rated by the Manchester teams amongst others. Vydra from the bench is class too.

    My prediction is Watford 1: Ipswich 1, 
    Murray to score for us and Chopra for yourselves.

    Many thanks to James for taking the time to talk to me, you can read his blog Watford Hornet at http://watfordhornet.tumblr.com 

    Have fun tonight those of you who are going!


    Sent from Samsung Mobile


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