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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WATFORD V WIGAN ATHLETIC

11 December 2014

Mackay heads to old stomping ground in search of first win as Latics boss.

  • Mackay made over 50 appearances for the Hornets between 2005 and 2008.
  • The Scot also had two spells as manager at Vicarage Road, as caretaker in 2008 and permanently between 2009 and 2011.
  • Watford a fruitless ground for Latics, just three draws and four defeats on seven previous visits.

Watford v Wigan Athletic
Saturday 13th December 2014
Vicarage Road
Sky Bet Championship
Kick-off 3pm

After facing one of his former clubs last weekend, Malky Mackay takes his Latics side to another of his previous clubs as he searches for a first win as Wigan Athletic boss at Watford.

A player, caretaker manager and permanent boss at Vicarage Road, Mackay helped the Hornets to promotion via the Play-Offs of the Championship in 2006 under then boss Aidy Boothroyd.

For Latics, the Hertfordshire hasn’t been a happy stomping ground with Vicarage Road producing two cup defeats, two league defeats and three draws.
Mackay will hope his side can find the level of performance that saw them defeat high-flying Derby County 2-1 in their only win on the road this season after Watford annihilated Fulham 5-0 at Craven Cottage last Friday.

LAST TIME OUT

Wigan Athletic 2 – 1 Watford
22nd March 2014
DW Stadium
Sky Bet Championship


Latics came from behind to strengthen their place on a Sky Bet Championship Play-Off spot as Jean Beausejour and Martyn Waghorn cancelled out Lewis McGugan’s opener.

McGugan fired home just after the half hour to give the visitors the lead against the run of play before Chilean winger Beausejour levelled before half-time after his initial effort was saved.

Waghorn grabbed what turned out to be the winner just before the hour mark, turning in James McArthur’s scuffed effort from the centre of the box.

WATFORD IN 2014/15 SO FAR

Four months into the campaign and four different managers, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Hornets were in turmoil.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite as Slavisa Jokanovic’s side currently occupy a Play-Offs of the Sky Bet Championship spot nearly midway through the campaign.

The loan market once again proved fruitful for Watford in the summer with their links to Udinese producing the re-signing of Matej Vydra as well as the additions of Daniel Tozser and Gianni Munari.

Heurelho Gomes, Gabriel Tamas, Lloyd Dyer and Craig Cathcart all signed on a permanent basis at Vicarage Road as Beppe Sannino looked to build a team capable of challenging for promotion.

It looked as if he had done just that, with four league wins in five games, including resounding victories over Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.

But, with reports of player unrest surfacing, the Italian resigned at the end of August and was replaced by former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Oscar Garcia just days later.

Spanish boss Garcia presided over a win, two draws and a defeat in his four games in charge before ill health curtailed his spell as manager after under a month in charge with his assistant, Billy McKinlay, taking the reins.

The Scot, who is now David Moyes’ assistant at Real Sociedad, picked up four points in his opening two games in charge before being replaced by former Chelsea defensive midfielder Slavisa  Jokanovic.

A FR Yugoslavia international, Jokanovic played for Partizan, Tenerife and Deportivo La Coruna during his career and has since gone on to achieve success as a manager, winning two Serbian league and cup doubles with Partizan Belgrade between 2007 and 2009.

He then led Thai side Muangthong United to a first Thai Premier League title in 2012 before spells with Levski Sofia and Hercules preceded his move to Vicarage Road.

After going unbeaten in his first four games in charge, the 46-year-old saw the Hornets lose four consecutive Sky Bet Championship games and thus losing ground on the promotion race.

However, last Friday’s 5-0 win at Fulham proved crucial in relieving pressure and getting Watford’s season back on track.

MAN TO WATCH – ALMEN ABDI


Signed after an initial loan spell from Udinese, Almen Abdi is arguably the most skilful and technically gifted player in the Sky Bet Championship.

A double in the 5-0 over Fulham last week further announced his importance to the Hornets’ promotion bid.

A Swiss international, Abdi began his career with FC Zurich and spent six years at the Letzigrund before moving on to Le Mans of France.

The 28-year-old attacking midfielder joined Udinese in 2010 and made 42 league appearances for the Italian outfit before joining Watford on loan for the 2012-13 season.

After making the loan move permanent in 2013, Abdi, who has been capped six times by the Swiss, has made 72 appearances, scoring 19 goals.

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