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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, January 5th 2018

Big Match Preview: Watford away (FA Cup)

It's a return to Vicarage Road for City as they prepare to face Premier League opposition in the FA Cup on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Watford host Lee Johnson's side for the second time this season, following the 3-2 Carabao Cup victory back in August.

Here's a look at our next opponents as the FA Cup third round kicks off.

FACTFILE

Formed: 1881
Nickname: The Hornets
Website: www.watfordfc.com
Twitter: @WatfordFC
Ground: Vicarage Road
Capacity: 21,438

Honours
Football League First Division runners-up 1982/83
Football League Championship runners-up 2014/15
Football League Championship play-off winners 1998/99, 2005/06
Football League Championship play-off runners-up 2012/13
Football League Second Division runners-up 1981/82
Football League Third Division champions 1968/69, 1997/98
Football League Third Division runners-up 1978/79
Football League Fourth Division champions 1977/78
Southern Football League champions 1914/15
Southern Football League runners-up 1919/20
FA Cup Runners-up 1983/84

Last season
League finish: 17th in the Premier League
FA Cup: Fourth round, lost to Millwall
EFL Cup: Second round, lost to Gillingham
Top scorer: Troy Deeney, ten goals
Player of the Year: Sebastian Prödl
Average attendance: 20,571

HOW DID THEY GET HERE?

Now in their third consecutive season in the Premier League, the Hornets are beginning to establish themselves as a top-flight club.

In each campaign they have gone with a different man in charge, with Quique Sanchez Flores replaced by Walter Mazzarri, and now Marco Silva is at the helm.

A thrilling opening day 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool was followed up with an impressive 2-0 success at Bournemouth.

Their season also boasts a win against Arsenal and a draw with Tottenham Hotspur but they have been on a barren run since the end of November: winning once in their last nine matches.

Marco Silva joined Watford after departing Hull City in the summer

MEET THE GAFFER: MARCO SILVA

Portuguese coach Silva has hit the ground running in English football.

After spells at Estoril and Sporting Lisbon, Silva went to Olympiacos, but quit just a year later despite winning the Greek title.

Hull appointed him to the helm in January 2017, replacing Mike Phelan, and the club were deep in the relegation mire.

Hull went on to reach the EFL Cup semi-finals and pulled off a string fine results - including four straight victories at home.

However, the task to survive was too tall and the Tigers were relegated in May.

He resigned shortly after and just two days later was handed a two-year deal at Watford.

Troy Deeney could be let go by Watford

STAR MAN: TROY DEENEY

A club stalwart, Deeney has made over 300 appearances for the Hornets since joining the club in 2010.

In that time he has scored 108 goals for the club, a healthy one-in-three ratio that any striker would be proud of.

He twice scored more than 20 goals in the Championship, with the 2014/15 campaign seeing Watford finish runners-up and clinch a return to the Premier League.

Deeney managed 17 goals in all competitions during 2015/16, the joint-highest at Vicarage Road with Odion Ighalo.

Last season he scored another ten goals, this time to land the top scorer honour on his own.

Deeney marked his first start of the current season in the Carabao Cup defeat to City, having made 14 further appearances to date.

Having served a four-match ban he could return to the Watford line up in the FA Cup but rumours are circulating that his time at Watford may soon be up.

Eliasson celebrates after scoring City's decisive goal in this Carabao Cup tie back in August

MEMORABLE MEETING: 2017/18

WATFORD 2-3 Bristol City
Watford goals: Mariappa 47, Capoue 90+5
City goals: Hinds 60, Reid 67, Eliasson 90+3

A stunning second-half fightback saw a much-changed City side inflict a Carabao Cup upset at the home of Premier League Watford.

Goalless at the interval, City fell behind to Etienne Capoue’s 47th-minute opener.

But the lead did not last long as Freddie Hinds scored from distance for the second cup tie in succession, before substitute Bobby Reid turned in Lloyd Kelly’s driven cross.

Niclas Eliasson made the game safe in stoppage time after Jose Holebas was dismissed for fouling the Swede, ensuring Adrian Mariappa’s consolation goal at the death counted for nothing.

City: Fielding, Vyner, Flint, Magnusson, Kelly, Hinds (Taylor), Hegeler (Smith), O'Neill, Eliasson, O'Dowda, Diedhiou (Reid). Subs not used: Lucic, Golbourne, Wright, Paterson.

Watford: Gomes, Kabasele, Holebas, Prödl, Mariappa, Hughes (Gray), Richarlison, Watson, Nordin Amrabat (Success), Capoue (Cleverly), Deeney. Subs not used: Pantilimon, Britos, Cathcart, Chalobah.

Attendance: 9,003

AND FINALLY...

Officials
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt and James Mainwaring
Fourth Official: Mark Heywood

Betting (via Sky Bet)
Watford 4/9
Draw 7/2
City 6/2