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Watford 1 v 1 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Wednesday, 6th March 2024 Kick-off 19:45
The team that keeps on sacking v The Swans this Wednesday
Monday, 4th Mar 2024 08:00 by Keith Haynes

It has been a harsh three months or so for Watford, they last won at home on the 27th November last year beating Norwich City 3-2. However, that shouldn’t take away from some really decent results on the road.

The Hornets are so unpredictable Swansea City should be very aware that knocking five in against Preston away and beating Hull and Blackburn on the road is no mean feat. They have also turned over Rotherham United and Queens Park Rangers away as well in that timeframe from the end of November. Obviously if they hadn’t turned in good away performances, and their form followed their home stats they would be well in the soup in the Championship. Anyone who has followed the Hornets in recent seasons will be surprised Valérien Ismaël is still at the club, they were at one point sacking managers ding dong.

It was last May that Valérien Ismaël (below) took over the reigns at Watford, replacing Chris Wilder. However, before that a whole host of calamitous decision making was made by the club. Over the past four years, Jave Gracia, Nigel Pearson, Quique Sánchez Flores, Vladimir Ivić, Xisco Muñoz, Claudio Ranieri, Roy Hodgson, Rob Edwards (sacked after eleven games) and Slaven Bilić have all been appointed and quickly removed by owner, Gino Pozzo. What he was trying to achieve baffled even the most ardent Hornets fan, but now it seems he has learned that for stability you have to have a reasonable expectation that things don’t happen in a week. He is heading towards twenty managers appointed since he took over in 2014 as sole owner.

There may well be other financial elements to Ismaël remaining at the club, but you do get the feeling if the Swans can get something on Wednesday night he could be in the owners office come Thursday morning. The Swans and the Hornets had a healthy rivalry in the late seventies to the early eighties, matching each other during John Toshack’s reign as both clubs reached the top flight.

These days though it’s all about Championship survival. Neither club looks like it could be dragged in to a relegation scrap at this time, but there are still eleven games to go this season. The Swans have two decent results behind them. Beating Sunderland away nine days ago 2-1 and then gaining head coach, Luke Williams his first league home win on Saturday has put some daylight between the Swans and the relegation dogfight. The real concern at this time is the resurgence of the relegation threatened teams. A look at the table tells anyone who cares to listen that fifty plus points could be the benchmark to reach this season.

There’s a full fixture list this week as well. These games will sort a few sides out, you have to worry for Stoke City though.

The Swans will head up to Watford tomorrow with some extra strength in depth. Jamal Lowe is back and Harry Darling, Bashir Humphreys and Josh Key were all on the bench for the 2-1 home win against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. Defensively that is sound, if Darling is okay for a ninety minute crack then for us he should play. He is a threat at set pieces and shows great determination in the air. He is improving massively this season. Keeping Ronald fit for the two upcoming ‘derby games’ especially Cardiff is essential. It now looks like Mykola Kukharevych isn’t going to get a look in, and judging by comments from Saturday post match Jerry Yates is pretty much in favour still. Both he and Liam Cullen made little impact on Saturday, however Liam is due the odd off game. Joe Allen has to be managed carefully, but in midfield he looks a far better pick than Jay Fulton, and maybe it’s time for Charlie Patino with Jamie Paterson likely to be out for a while ?

We hope you enjoyed our Monday morning pre match, more later on this crucial away game.

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Artwork by Swansea Independent

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