Match Preview: Rovers v Watford

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After Saturday’s defeat at Nottingham Forest made it four on the bounce, Rovers will look to get back to winning ways against high-flying Watford.

The pressure is building on Tony Mowbray following Rovers’ recent run of results, and his side needs a win sooner rather than later.

Watford, meanwhile, made it three consecutive victories with a narrow 2-1 win against Derby County, and look set to challenge for automatic promotion under Xisco Munoz.

We Meet Again…

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The two sides haven’t met regularly throughout their history, with the last meeting at Ewood Park coming back in 2014, with the sides drawing 2-2 – goals from Rudy Gestede and Ryan Tunnicliffe helping Rovers come from two down.

Blackburn 2 - 2 Watford - Match Report & Highlights
Credit: Getty Images

The last meeting between the two sides came in October 2020, with Watford coming out as 3-1 victors at Vicarage Road. Goals from Joao Pedro and Tom Cleverley gave the hosts a two-goal lead, and despite Ben Brereton’s volley halving the deficit, a second-half Darragh Lenihan own goal gave the hosts all three points.

The Ones To Watch

As with many sides relegated from the Premier League, Watford’s squad is one full of talent.

Senegalese winger Ismaïla Sarr was subject to plenty of transfer speculation over the transfer window with links to Manchester United and Watford circulated. He has seven goals and four assists to his name so far this season, and he is clearly above the standard required for the Championship.

Brazilian forward Joao Pedro is a talented forward, and aged just 19 years old, he has eight goals to his name so far this season. The Watford forward has scored a goal every 5.38 shots, and Rovers will need to make sure he doesn’t repeat his goal in the reverse fixture.

Looking backwards on the pitch, experienced defender Kiko Femenia has been a regular in the Hornets’ side this season, helping his side to attack down the wings.

Predictions

With Sam Gallagher absent and Ryan Nyambe a doubt, we’re going to see a couple of changes from the side that started the defeat to Nottingham Forest.

I was delighted by the news that Daniel Pike and Connor McBride are set to be involved. Although I’m not expecting either of them to feature for much of the match, it will be a positive – and much deserved – experience.

Predicted XI: Kaminski, Bennett, Harwood-Bellis, Branthwaite, Douglas, Travis, Davenport, Rothwell, Elliott, Armstrong, Brereton

If this was at Vicarage Road, Watford would be clear favourites given their impressive home form and Rovers’ recent struggles.

However, the fact we’re at Ewood Park coupled with Rovers’ need for a victory, I’m expecting us to get something out of this – but ask me how I’m feeling at 10pm!

Prediction: Rovers 1-1 Watford

We’ll be LIVE on our Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages from 7:15pm for a ‘Watchalong’, where you can have a little bit of virtual company during the match whilst we’re all stuck inside!

We are hosting a special live stream on Tuesday 27 July to raise some much needed funds for our charity partner 'Sporting Minds UK', who provide much needed mental health support for sportspeople.

There are plenty of prizes up for grabs, including a signed pair of boots from Elliott Bennett and signed shirts from John Buckley and Joe Rothwell.

To donate, please visit rcdonate.com and give whatever you can to help support this wonderful cause. Thank you.

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