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MansionBet Match Preview: Watford (H)

City could equal their best winning run of the season as they chase a fourth consecutive victory in the Sky Bet Championship.

Fellow high-flyers Watford, who are looking to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking, sit only one point behind the Robins fifth in the table ahead of the midweek clash at Ashton Gate.

In partnership with MansionBet, here’s a preview of what you can expect from the fixture.

Dean Holden's men made it three from three with maximum points at home for the first since September in Saturday's 1-0 win over Derby County.

It was also Famara Diédhiou's first goal of the season, with the striker needing one touch to set himself before striking a low left-footed shot beyond David Marshall.

It was the perfect response with league action back after an international break which saw the club hit by Covid-19.

Not forgetting injuries either, with the likes of Nathan Baker, Andreas Weimann, Liam Walsh, Joe Williams and Steven Sessegnon all long-term absentees. Holden confirmed in his pre-Watford press conference that midfield pair Walsh and Williams will not be available before Christmas.  Meanwhile, Tyreeq Bakinson continues to self-isolate after receiving a positive Covid-19 test but Han-Noah Massengo is now back training.

Yet the Robins were still able find a way through a possession-controlling Derby County and earn the important three points which sends Holden's side up to third in the table.

Wednesday night's opponents Watford are also in the mix in these early stages, perhaps to be expected with a wealth of talent from their Premier League days: Ben Foster, Étienne Capoue, Tom Cleverly to name but a few recognised faces. Joäo Pedro has proved himself a popular figure since joining the Hornets in January and he leads the goal charts, while Ken Sema has laid on four assists, one of those a stoppage-time pass for Ismalia Sarr's winner against Stoke City.

The aerial duels make for an interesting match up. City's top two (Chris Martin, 3.8, and Tomas Kalas, 3.4) average better overall headers won compared to Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele (both 3.3), and City average more headers won with 21.8% compared to Watford's 18.7%.

On the ball, the visitors to BS3 enjoy slightly more possession (51.2% average this season), compared to City's 48.7%. However, the Robins can boast more goals to this point and with Antoine Semenyo leading the assists charts (6) - Chris Martin just two behind him - and Diédhiou buoyed by getting off the mark, the Watford back line will need to be wary this Wednesday night.

As for Hornets boss Vladimir Ivić, he has confirmed Stipe Perica and Christian Kabasele are available for selection on Wednesday, though Cleverly is a doubt. Adam Masina and Will Hughes remain unavailable.

MATCH DETAILS 

Where: Ashton Gate Stadium
When: Wednesday, November 25th, 7.45pm KO
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Referee: Dean Whitestone
Assistants: Mark Pottage and Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth official: John Brooks

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Watford 2-3 Bristol City
Vicarage Road

Tuesday, August 22nd 2017
Carabao Cup Second Round

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.

HEAD TO HEAD*

Bristol City v Watford

Played: 95
City won: 37 (39%)
Drew: 29
City lost: 29

Bristol City goals: 22
Watford goals: 17

Bristol City top goalscorers: Paterson (4)
Watford top goalscorers: Joao Pedro (4)

Bristol City most assists: Antoine Semenyo (6)
Watford most assists: Ken Sema (4)

Bristol City clean sheets: 6
Watford clean sheets: 4

League positions (correct ahead of Tuesday's matches)
Bristol City: 3rd
Watford: 1st 

*All competitions unless stated

Diédhiou's delight after netting the goal against Derby County last time out
Zak Vyner starred in a big win against Wayne Rooney and co

The match will be live on Sky Sports, meaning there will be no Robins TV stream available to non-Season Card holders.

Season Card holders should have received a FREE streaming pass code emailed ahead of the recently televised fixture against Norwich City. Season Card holders will not have to enter their unique voucher code again as access to Sky TV home matches will automatically be granted once logged into Robins TV.

Audio-only passes are available to buy for non-Season Card holders.

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