James Arthur

Say You Wont Let Go

Watford vs Wycombe Wanderers Preview: Wednesday Win Versus Wanderers?

Following a hotly-contested 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth on Saturday the Hornets will no doubt be eager to return to winning ways immediately. On paper, this would be the perfect opportunity to do so, but having drawn to the Chairboys in the reverse fixture they're well aware of the threat posed by Gareth Ainsworth's side.

Joao Pedro and Nathaniel Chalobah won't play a part in tomorrow night's proceedings. They face a suspension following Joao Pedro's two yellow cards and Chalobah's tenth of the season on the weekend. Joao Pedro will be back this weekend, as for the former Chelsea and Napoli midfielder he will have to wait a little longer, serving a two-match ban. This leaves Xisco Munoz with far fewer options in the middle of the park. Although Dan Gosling arrived in January both James Garner and Domingos Quina departed in the Winter Window; the former ending his loan at Vicarage Road and the latter leaving on a temporary basis to join La Liga outfit Granada, where he has scored two goals in two games already. If Munoz opts for the 4-3-3 as he has for the last five games, there will be no midfield alternatives on the substitutes bench. Under-23's player and usual first-team sub Dan Phillips hasn't made an appearance at any level since January, but Ben Wilmot could be seen as cover in the position due to his experience in that position in his youth. 

Carlos Sanchez is closely linked with a move back to English football with Watford; the 35 year-old defensive midfielder has apparently agreed a deal with the Hornets but won't be involved on Wednesday night. So far this is merely rumours but there could be something more to it.

The Opposition

Promoted via Points-per-game last season due to the premature suspension of the League One campaign, Wycombe haven't managed to gain a foothold this season, sitting bottom of the league. There have been positives, and they are very much in the fight for survival, but find themselves twelve points adrift of 21st placed Birmingham City. They play direct football; often their high line is caught out and in recent weeks they have reassessed that in order to concede fewer goals, but now face a goal drought, having scored just once from open play in their last 4 games.

In terms of their style, Gareth Ainsworth has set out his team in a 4-4-1-1 in recent weeks, but has previously dabbled with a 4-3-3 and a 4-1-4-1. From that, we can assume that there will be one central striker, wide men offering creativity (the likes of Fred Onyedinma and Daryl Horgan have performed well in this role this season) and a flat back four, with veteran full-back Joe Jacobson a key man in their attacks from the left.

The Chairboys will certainly put up a fight; they beat Watford's promotion rivals Reading last week and competed with league leaders Norwich on the weekend but often they are orchestrators of their own downfall. It will be interesting to see how they approach an away game at a promotion chasing side, whether they sit back and allow Watford possession or go for the jugular and catch out Xisco Munoz's side. 

In terms of team news, tonight's visitors have Jordan Obita potentially missing from the squad having picked up a knock against Norwich and Ryan Allsop is another doubt. The goalkeeper is back in training, but it might be too soon for his return to the fold.

Former Watford striker Uche Ikpeazu will be available and at Ainsworth's disposal, as will ex-Academy player Adebayo Akinfenwa. Ryan Tafazolli is also back following a suspension.


This is the first match between these sides at Vicarage Road since a League Cup tie in 2012. Chris Iwelumo netted an extra-time winner as the Hornets won 1-0.

In terms of the reverse fixture, Vladimir Ivic wasn't able to leave Adams Park with any more than a point, and was perhaps lucky to get one at all. Ismaila Sarr opened the scoring in the second half, his first of the season, Anthony Stewart replying just fourteen minutes later. The Hosts had a goal ruled out; Alex Samuel was adjudged to have fouled Ben Foster as Joe Jacobson's cross deflected off of the goalkeeper.

The last league match between these two teams at Vicarage Road was back in 1997, as Watford saw off the travelling Wycombe in a 2-1 victory.


Who's the Threat?

Watford: Will Hughes

We can expect some rotation tonight from Xisco Munoz, but one player who isn't likely to be dropped from the XI is Will Hughes. The tenacious midfielder has been crucial to Watford's success in this new 4-3-3 system, and may be able to break up player and create the right chances for Watford to see out a win.

Wycombe: Fred Onyedinma

It would be wise not to underestimate Watford's opponents tonight. Gareth Ainsworth has plenty of talent at his disposal and Fred Onyedinma is an example of that. The 24 year old netted against Tottenham Hotspur in their FA Cup defeat, and is the only player to have scored from open play for Wycombe since the 13th February. He performed in the game at Adams Park and is certainly capable of doing so again.


Elliot's Score Prediction

This will be a tight affair. I doubt there will be many chances and it won't go down in history as a classic, but there is enough quality in both sides for them to achieve all three points. Watford's home form may just edge it, so I'll say 1-0 to the home side.

Watford 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Kick-Off: 7pm, Vicarage Road

Televised? Yes, on iFollow, the Sky Sports Red Button and Hive Live.

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

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