For the start of the NPower Championship season 2013/14 Gianfranco Zola’s Watford FC travel up to the midlands to take on Lee Clarke’s Birmingham City at St Andrews. After missing out on automatic promotion to the Premier League last season, Watford went through the gruelling task of the Play Off’s which saw the Hornet’s overcome a 1-0 deficit against Leicester to win 3-1 in that extraordinary game at Vicarage Road to reach Wembley. Unfortunately the good feelings stopped there after a strong Crystal Palace beat Watford 1-0 after extra time with Kevin Philips converting the winning penalty after Wilfred Zaha was up ended by Marco Cassetti in the box. It wasn't meant to be unfortunately but Zola will be looking to improve and push on.
Lee Clark’s Birmingham City have had a starkly different summer to the Hornet’s. *They have had to deal with financial turmoil that has seen them having to sell their best players and recruiting players from the lower divisions, sounds familiar doesn’t it? So far they have had to deal with the loss of England Under 21 international Jack Butland , who despite being sold in January was sent back on loan until the end of the season, and wide-man Nathan Redmond.
Opposition Fans Forums:
What an exciting yet nervy pre season we have had! We’ve seen how the Pozzo’s operate and speculated who will come our way. The whole Vydra case has hung above our heads the entire summer, but we expected that didn’t we?
On to transfers! So far we have bought in Carlos Javier Acuna from Real Madrid B via Udinese with a view to a permanent move. Surprisingly we have also bought in two players from promotion chasing rivals Reading and Nottingham Forest. From Reading we have bought in Uche Ikpeazu, an 18 year old striker who models himself on Didier Drogba and was the country’s top scorer in his age category with 28 goals. From Forest we have signed attacking midfielder Lewis McGugan on a free transfer which seems to be a bit of a coup. From the loanee’s last year we have signed Marco Cassetti on a one year deal, Almen Abdi on a three year deal, Daniel Pudil on a four year deal, Cristian Battochio on a three year deal and Joel Ekstrand and Ikechi Anya are currently thrashing out deals at time of writing.
Likely Line Ups:
Subs: Bond, Cassetti, Murray, Anya, Acuna, Fabbrini, Romero.
Subs: Doyle, Novak, Hancox, Elliot, Robinson, Mullins, Ambrose.
Score Prediction: Haven't a clue what to expect so I am plumping for a 3-1 win to the Hornets.
For all those travelling up have a safe journey.
Come On You Orns!