Football – England – Championship
Saturday 8th December 2012 – kickoff: 1500hrs
This fixture pitches together two teams currently in the play-off positions as hosts Watford take on Hull City at Vicarage Road with just one league place and two points separating them in what should be a tight match.
Sixth placed Watford have put together an impressive seven match unbeaten streak with some particularly strong displays including a 2-1 win over Leicester City, a 6-1 away win at Leeds United and convincing wins over the struggling teams such as 4-1 at Sheffield Wednesday and 4-1 at home to Barnsley.
Watford’s home record stands at 5-2-3 14/9 and The Hornets are unbeaten in their last five at Vicarage Road. Watford’s leading goalscorers are Matej Vydra (8 goals, 3 assists) and Troy Deeney (8 goals, 2 assists) and they have valuable support from Fernando Forestieri (3 goals, 4 assists) and Mark Yeates (3 goals, 5 assists) providing both goalscoring chances for the forwards as well as scoring goals themselves.
Hull City make the long trip south on the back of some mixed results following wins against Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest both away from home, whilst suffering defeats against Cardiff City and Burnley, but they did hold high-flying Crystal Palace to a 0-0 draw at home a couple of weeks ago.
Hull City’s away record stands at an indifferent 5-1-4 13/14 but they have struggled against the other teams in the top six positions such as losing at Leicester City 1-3, Middlesbrough 0-2 and Cardiff City 1-2 which leads me to believe that Steve Bruce’s men will probably have to settle for a play-off place come May next year and take their chances through the play-offs route.
Nevertheless, Watford will still need to keep an eye on striker Sone Aluko (8 goals, 3 assists) although he didn’t figure in the Tigers’ recent win at Nottingham Forest. Jay Simpson (5 goals, 6 assists) and playmaker Robert Koren (4 goals, 3 assists) as well as Ahmed Elmohamady (1 goal, 5 assists) and important Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn (2 goals, 3 assists) make up the rest of Hull’s main attacking threats.
Watford have put in some impressive shifts recently and they have been especially hard to break down at home, and against a Hull side who are a bit up-and-down away from home, I’ll back the hosts with the round ball so if it’s a draw we get our stake refunded. Could be a 2-1 win for Watford though.
Pick: Watford AH0 @ 1.75 Pinnacle