Share this page :

We’re back home. Since we last played a home game in the Premier League, we’ve been to Manchester United, Leeds and Arsenal but we now kick off a run of three successive home games with today’s visit of Watford.

This game should have been played just days after the last home game against West Ham, but it was called off at the eleventh hour because of covid in the Watford ranks and the first rearranged date saw the game go the same way, this time because of the same issues at Burnley.

Tonight, with a 6 p.m. kick off, it’s the only Premier League game this weekend and what an important game it now looks. As we’ve built up a backlog of fixtures that’s seen us play up to six games less than one team in the league, it’s contributed to us dropping to the bottom of the league, one place and two points behind Watford.

We’re not bottom solely because of the postponements. Having only won once in eighteen games is the main factor and unless things change in that respect then we know where we will be heading. Last month didn’t help either. We were built up to expect two potential new signings but neither materialised and the only incoming player, who we expect to make a debut today, is Dutch striker Wout Weghorst who arrived from VfL Wolfsburg to replace the departed Chris Wood.

On the pitch, skipper Ben Mee, was pleased with the performance at Arsenal two weeks ago and is now looking forward to this run of home games and getting the season running properly without all the stop/start we’ve had recently.

Embed from Getty Images
He said: “It is nice this is the start of three home games in the next week. Hopefully, we can get on a run, pick up some good performances and build follow and confidence. That is when we are at our best. I am excited for the game (against Watford). It is a really big game for us, and the boys are looking forward to a big week ahead.”

Ben also referred to the supporters. He added: “We are going to need the fans to get right behind us and create a really good atmosphere.”

That’s exactly what we need to do. We know where we are in the league, we know what we have to do for the remainder of the season and that has to start today. No matter what is happening on the pitch, we have to get behind the lads from first whistle to last. We’ve done our moaning at some of the poor results recently and we’ve done our moaning at the transfer window but that’s gone, there’s nothing we can do about that, and it is now time to make our voices heard with fantastic support.

Watford, under the management of Roy Hodgson for the first time today, and without key striker Emmanuel Dennis who is suspended, are the opponents but today is very much about us.

Who will we be supporting today? We know some players are missing. Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson and Matěj Vydra are both ruled out for a while having had surgery, JBG for appendicitis and Vyds for a hernia. Josh Brownhill is also out suspended having come back in for the game at Arsenal and we remain without Ashley Barnes although he did get 45 minutes this week for the under-23s, scoring too in the Central League Cup win against Bolton.

Charlie Taylor was missing at Arsenal and Sean Dyche reported on Thursday that he was touch and go. With Dyche, that usually means three to four weeks out so I don’t think we will see a return today.

Weghorst, I’m certain, will start. We need him up and running as quickly as possible and Dyche hinted very strongly that he would be in the line up. He didn’t speak similarly about Maxwel Cornet who has returned from international duty. I think he was all but suggesting that he might be on the bench, but I really don’t think that will be the case. If fit, I expect him to start, and I would expect him to start up front alongside Weghorst.

The team could be: Nick Pope, Connor Roberts, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Erik Pieters, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Westwood, Jack Cork, Dwight McNeil, Wout Weghorst, Maxwel Cornet. Subs from: Wayne Hennessey, Will Norris, Matt Lowton, Phil Bardsley, Nathan Collins, Kevin Long, Bobby Thomas, Dale Stephens, Jay Rodriguez.

Not winning wouldn’t be a disaster although would make things more difficult for us. Winning wouldn’t even get us out of the relegation positions but what a boost it would give us.


Follow UpTheClarets:

Share this page :