Watford vs Barnsley
Saturday 15th March 2014
On the back of the win over Nottingham Forest, Danny Wilson’s side hosted Leicester on Tuesday with a view to earn a second consecutive win.
Things didn’t really come off for the Reds as Nigel Pearson’s table-topping Leicester ended up leaving Oakwell with all three points after put three past Luke Steele.
A win against Leicester would have been fantastic for Barnsley as Millwall in 21st place are starting to look ever closer.
A victory over Watford could be enough for Barnsley to make it out of the relegation zone on Saturday if other results go the way of the Reds. However, only a point would be more than helpful.
This will be the 56th time that this fixture has been played in the football league.
Barnsley wins: 19
Watford wins: 20
The reverse of this fixture took place back in September at Oakwell. That day was one to forget quickly for Barnsley as Watford, then managed by Gianfranco Zola beat the Reds 5-1.
It’s not always been doom and gloom for Barnsley when facing Watford. Last season the Hornets were unlucky not to be promoted to the Premier League and only missed out by two points. During that campaign, the Reds were one of the few teams to beat Zola’s side and one day short of a year later, Barnsley will surely be looking to do the same again this Saturday.
Players to watch
Despite not a huge of first team appearances this season, Barnsley midfielder Tomasz Cywka remains one of the team’s top scorers.
Since making his move to the Reds after a spell with Reading, Cywka has settled in and become an important aspect of Danny Wilson’s squad.
Cywka made his move to England in 2006 after a successful trial with Wigan. During his time with Wigan, the former Polish U21 international was sent on several loan spells.
After a loan spell with Derby in 2010, Cywka chose to sign permanently for the Rams and that is where he staked his claim as a Championship midfielder.
Now at Barnsley and still only 25 years old, Cywka could potentially be important as the Reds look to explore every possible option in order to avoid the dreaded drop.
After Watford’s great season last year, many expected more of the same and when things didn’t start to go as well this year, many were surprised.
Midfielder Jim O’Brien looks set to miss the rest of the season after Danny Wilson revealed this week, the Scot requires surgery on a knee injury. Defenders Peter Ramage and Martin Cranie will both also miss out due to the duo picking up hamstring injuries.
Bobby Hassell and Marcus Pedersen both remain long term absentees although Stephen McLaughlin looks set for a return.
Watford will be without suspended striker Mathias Ranegie as he was red carded in the midweek defeat to Doncaster. There is also doubt over Fernando Forestieri after he sustained a toe injury.
One player for Watford whose form seems to have carried on into this year is Troy Deeney. With the majority of the goals last year coming from the on loan Matěj Vydra, Deeney has seized the opportunity to prove this year, how much of a goal threat he can be.
So far, Deeney has 16 goals for Watford and his efforts in front of goal have gone a long way to securing 11th place for the Hornets ahead of the game on Saturday.
L- (H) Leicester 3-0
W- (H) Forest 1-0
L- (A) Huddersfield 5-0
W- (H) Millwall 1-0
L- (A) Wigan 2-0
L- (A) Doncaster 2-1
W- (H) Blackpool 4-0
L- (A) Bolton 2-0
D- (A) Yeovil 0-0
W- (H) Middlesbrough 1-0
Barnsley win: 5/1
Watford win: 8/13
First goal scorer:
Tomasz Cywka: 11/1
Lewis McGugan: 13/2
Referee- Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referees- Mark Derrien & Nigel Lugg
Fourth Official- Paul Kelly