Cardiff City Stadium - Premier League
Opportunity knocks for Neil Warnock and his Cardiff City players on Friday night, as they welcome Watford to South Wales. The Bluebirds could build a nice little gap to the bottom three if they can make it a hat-trick of victories in this game.
Watford almost threw away a three-goal lead at Vicarage Road earlier this season, but held on for a 3-2 win in December. The teams hadn’t played since they were in the Championship together during the 2014/5 campaign, with each side winning away from home.
Bluebirds captain Sean Morrison is the only injury concern for the home team coming into Friday’s fixture. Apart from that, Warnock has a full set of players to choose from, and must decide whether to reward goalscoring hero Kenneth Zohore with a start after his late winner against Southampton.
Javi Gracia could be without as many as five players for this game, although Roberto Pereyra is expected to be fit following a thigh injury. Sebastian Prodl and Kiko Femenia are closing in on a return to action, although Isaac Success is injured and Jose Holebas is suspended.
Cardiff City v Watford Preview and Predictions
Cardiff’s victory over Southampton in their last game was massive. Not only did they recover from conceding a late equaliser to retake the lead, it put them a point ahead of the Saints in the Premier League table. With Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side away at Arsenal this weekend, the Bluebirds will surely move four points clear of them if they beat Watford.
That’s going to be tough though, as the Hornets are flying high this season, currently occupying eighth in the table. They were comfortable against Cardiff earlier this season, but the Bluebirds showed their resilience in that game and will need to do the same here.
Watford have also won their last two games ahead of this clash at the Cardiff City Stadium, beating Everton in their last league game, before Friday’s victory over QPR in the FA Cup. Both of those were narrow 1-0 wins, and the visitors are the 7/5 favourites to pick up another three points in this one.
Cardiff meanwhile are 11/5, after they beat Bournemouth 2-0 in their last home fixture. The Bluebirds have got themselves into a solid position, and they could climb as high as 13th if results go their way this weekend. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for the hosts considering Watford’s form this season, and that’s priced at 12/5.
Draw and under 2.5 goals at 3/1
This game could be a tight one with so much on the line for the home team, while Watford’s last three games have only seen two goals in total.
Zohore to score first at 15/2
The Danish striker scored what could turn out to be a hugely significant goal in Cardiff’s last game - can he follow it up with another one here?