Some would suggest that Saturday’s fixture at Vicarage Road is of little importance for one of these clubs. While Watford will be looking to do everything they can to cement their top six position, opponents Blackpool appear to have all but given up the fight to stay in this division as they sit nine points adrift of safety.
From an off-the-field perspective, there’s no doubt that this season has been hugely turbulent for Watford and their fans. They have had to withstand several changes in manager and while one would think that this would bring complete instability to the team, they’ve actually reacted superbly well and currently sit in 6th position. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that their form is inconsistent and this would be something that needs to be addressed if they are going to secure that playoff position by the end of the season. They may have thrashed Charlton in 5-0 fashion in their last game, yet prior to that they had lost three of their last four. However, having won two from three at Vicarage Road over recent weeks, supporters will be confident as they prepare to host the Championship’s bottom-placed side.
In fact, most teams on the verge of facing Blackpool are probably feeling quite confident. It may have been only several years since the Seasiders were vying in the Premier League, yet it looks as though a concoction of poor decisions has left them on the brink. Starting the season with such a small squad was never going to leave them with an easy task, yet now they find themselves nine points adrift of safety with just twenty games left to save their season. Lee Clark looks to have his work well and truly cut out and when you look at their current form, which has seen them win just one of their last seven, it makes for very bleak reading.
Something that will hinder Watford’s charge to secure a top six place significantly is their injury list. The Hornets have already been without Fernando Forestieri, Joel Ekstrand and Sean Murray, but the club have now received news that Gianni Munari is a doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury in last weekend’s game. There is much less to report for the visitors meanwhile, although Gary MacKenzie and Grant Hall will both miss out due to respective ankle and knee injuries. There could be a place for Ishmael Miller though, after he recovered from a spell on the treatment table with a hamstring injury.
Watford might be an inconsistent side, but they’re up against a Blackpool team who must surely know where their fate lies. With the Hornets also holding the home advantage, we have no option but to predict a comfortable 2-0 victory for the North London outfit this weekend.