Watford vs. Forest preview..

A Boxing Day trip to Vicarage Road is the time and the place where Forest will offer up their unbeaten credentials to be tested by troubled Watford. Our hosts have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons with boardroom wrangles that has possibly started to affect matters on the pitch for them, losing four of their last five games – including against the Sheep!

So the team we visit is certainly a different proposition to the side that stung us 4-2 at the City Ground earlier this season – gosh, a bleak day that was!  A nice reminder at how quickly fortunes can change, if nothing else!  But whilst Watford have recently undergone the ignomity of losing to Derby and Peterborough, they have also turned over QPR by 3-1, so not a team to be underestimated.

The Reds are still just without the mysteriously-still-injured Guy Moussi and long-term casualty Julian Bennett, which will leave Billy with the usual poser on who to select for the game.  He was also boosted (in my opinion) by the news that Paul Smith has signed a two  year extension to his contract with the club, whilst Lee Camp has been in sparkling form of late – it’s great to both have cover, and keep the pressure on the number one!

Watford’s key man is midfielder Tom Cleverley – he’s on loan from Manchester United and unfortunately for us will still be at Watford.  Whether their financial predicament will allow them to extend the loan which expires in January is unclear – but as well as scoring against us at the City Ground he’s struck six more goals for the Horns and just from watching The Football League show it’s clear he’s had a big impact.

Forest have sold their allocation of tickets to people presumably to escape the turkey sandwiches and familial overload on Boxing Day, so the M1 will be awash with Reds eager to make good time to Watford for a 12:00 noon kick off.  By all accounts the home tickets are selling very well too, so it bodes to be a decent crowd at Vicarage Road which should make for a good post-Christmas trip!

I’ve all but given up on making predictions – as ever though, our opponents are not to be underestimated – and they certainly won’t be underestimating us.  Billy is likely to start with a more cautious eleven as seems to be his modus operandi away from the City Ground – or maybe he’ll surprise me.  I half expect to see a bit of 4-5-1 converting to 4-3-3 on the break – with a substitute’s bench bristling with attacking options.

So all that really remains for me is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, given the kick off time a Watford report should be forthcoming at some point on the evening of Boxing Day.  I think I’ll wait ’til after the Coventry game before entertaining the idea of some kind of self-indulgent reflections on the year just gone kind of piffle.  Or maybe I won’t!  See you in Watford!

8 Responses

  1. I wouldnt be surprised to see Luke Chambers thrown back in the team in a very defensive 5-3-2 line up. It will be the usual Billy approach looking to stop the opponents from playing with the chance that we might snatch something. Billy knows best but sometimes you just want us to go for it and produce the same flowing football that we do at home. Big Dele is certain to start and I expect it will be along side McGoldrick.

    Happy xmas NFFC! I look forward to reading your reflections on the year and also your opinion on what we should or shouldnt do during the January transfer window!

  2. Great preview as ever nffc. Somehow methinks Davies will want to especially prove his credentials this weekend. Let’s hope so!

  3. Merry Christmas NFFC and thanks for the best forest blog around- this always the first website i open up when i get to work each day (but don’t tell my boss that)!

    Let’s hope that we are still talking about that unbeaten run in may!

  4. merry christmas to all, i’d like to see mcgugan get a start but i doubt that will happen anyway. 3-0 forest. it will be interesting to see how we get on against brum and obviously west brom. win them games and we will be going back to where we belong. always been unsure of billy and i still cannot bring myself to like him !! watching forest close games out, running the clock down and being confident of winning before the game has even started is all new to me !! fact is at times we are not that pretty to watch but overall we are in a great position and i see us getting better.

  5. Merry Christmas everyone, what a difference a year makes. I expect billy to play 451 on sat and then give those who have been on the bench a start on Monday with back 5 and McKenna playing the first 45 mins until (hopefully) we are a few goals up and then they can be rested.

  6. safe journey to anyone making the trip to watford > merry christmas to all associated with through the seasons before us, nffc especially > i’m with redash on the mcgugan starting place but totally convinced we’ve now got the best manager outside the premiership……
    blackstock (if fit)
    would have gone for earnie but feel dex’s aerial strength will be required against watford……..

  7. Happy Christmas to all and a special thanks to you nffc for your excellent commentary and reports on the real “Forest World”.

    I fancy us having a good Christmas and going to West Brom on the 8th of Jan with a chance to claim 2nd outright!! But then again ……..!

    Cheers to all, Steve

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