At the start of the season no-one could have predicted that these two sides would be so close together in the table. Cardiff were tipped to bounce back from last season’s playoff heartbreak with a serious promotion push, while financially-troubled Watford were expected to have a real season of struggle down at the bottom. However, the Hornets have been absolutely superb so far and currently sit just three places below Cardiff in 6th position.
Cardiff have been in 2nd place for much of the season, yet they enter this game having lost that position following recent results. The Bluebirds conceded a last minute equalizer to Norwich in their last league game and with that, Swansea took full advantage and leapfrogged them. The Swans now sit two points ahead of Dave Jones’ men, although with the Bluebirds having a game in hand, everything is still to play for. What’s more, Cardiff have shown in the last couple of weeks that they can provide a very good match for top flight teams following some great performances in the Cup against Stoke. Having firstly recorded a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium, the Bluebirds took Tony Pulis’ men to extra time midweek only to narrowly lose 2-0.
Watford meanwhile are having an unbelievable season and it’s no wonder that Malky Mackay is now being linked with several vacant positions at other clubs. Operating on a shoestring budget, Mackay has worked miracles and even his own supporters will be sat in disbelief as they stare at their current position of 6th. They’ve accumulated forty two points from their opening fixtures but with two games in hand over some sides above them, they have a brilliant opportunity to make this season something special. They enter this game with some superb form under their belt and having won their last seven games, it’s no surprise to see them top the Championship form charts. What’s more, having recorded a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Bluebirds only a few weeks ago, they should be approaching this encounter with plenty of confidence.
Cardiff have been boosted with some excellent news ahead of this game, with both Jay Bothroyd and Craig Bellamy tipped for returns following injuries. Dave Jones could also hand a debut to Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, but on the negative side Stephen McPhail is a doubt as he struggles with a hamstring injury. Watford meanwhile will be without two players as thigh and calf issues prevent Don Cowie and John Eustace featuring respectively. However, Malky Mackay secured the services of Andros Townsend and Andreas Weimann on loan this week and both could make their debuts.
Watford head into this game with some brilliant form behind them, but most of their results of late have come at home. In general, their away form has been average and with that, we think Cardiff will prosper with a 2-0 victory.