Pre-Match View From Watford

“Sheffield used to have quite a good footballing pedigree, Sheffield Wednesday were once considered a massive club and battled in the top flight of English football for much of their history, best known now as a sanctuary for ex-Watford players who can no longer perform effectively.
This week we play their less well known neighbours, Sheffield United, nicknamed the Blades. Quite a cool nickname that dates back to historical times when we used to make things in this country, less relevant now but a nice nod to the past. Can’t profess to have seen much of them but from what I can gather they have played some quite decent football whilst being solid and organised defensively when needed. They have also scored in each of their away games so far (alarm bells ring).
On the unofficial scale of must win games this is right up near the top for us, only games where you will actually be relegated there and then would be above this. If we are to survive this season it is games like this that we simply must win, I mean no offence to Sheffield United (I did that earlier) but we are now at the point where home games against non top 6, and especially newly promoted, sides need to be won, especially with Spurs away to follow.”

“If we can get first goal we might spark into life. Concede first and heads will drop though.”

“I watched Sheff U against Liverpool and they were very unlucky to lose that. Only a crazy mess up by their keeper denied at least a point.
There’s no way Watford would have stood up to Liverpool like United did. They have also won at Everton, a place we’ve never won in our history.
I would say we are actually the underdogs in this match. United are a better “team” by far. We have superior quality, but it means nothing if you’re not committed to the cause.”

“I watched their match against Liverpool and was very impressed by them. Have no doubt they will beat us comfortably.”

“Sheffield United lost 1-0 against Liverpool and their manager was digging out their players after the game and furious.
We lost 8-0 against Man City and the club showed more or less total apathy afterwards. Shows you a fair bit about the different mentalities of the clubs at the moment.”

“The big issue is, can the Blades get themselves motivated for such lowly opponents?”

“It should work in our favour, being underdogs for this one. Sheff Utd complacent thinking they just need to turn up.”

“Hard to see us getting anything. They will get a goal in the first 20 minutes due to some inexplicable act of defensive suicide and that will be it. We will lose by a margin if at least 3 goals.”

“Dear Sheffield United,
Would you like your 3 points gift wrapped or just as they come?
Regards,
Watford Football Club”

“I think this has potential to be a season defining game. Win and I think we’ll have the quality to stay up. Lose or draw and I think we’re ******.”

“Hate the term must win but this one is pretty close. Could be our season starts here and we desperately need it to happen”

“If we win we have a chance of staying up. If we lose this, we are as good as gone.”

“We are 4th (105 shots) in the league for most shots on goal this season. That must demonstrate there is still decent attacking flair in the team.
We are 9th in the table for ‘big chances missed’
Possession has not been an issue even though you can’t derive too much from that nowadays. Still better to have it than not.
I look at those core stats & ask myself is it just ordinarily bad luck that that round ball of leather is not touching the back of the onion bag. How can it be we have dropped off a cliff so convincingly?”

“I think we have the better players, but they will be high on confidence, organised and work their socks off. Some more poor defending will cost us, and we will struggle to create chances against them.”

“Sheff Utd are everything we are not. A squad of limited players, who play with a purpose and a game-plan they are able to execute consistently.
They’ll batter us. I’m certain of it.”

“They’re young goalkeeper has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, we have to start fast and get the first goal. If we do I think we might have a comfortable 3-0 win. Deulofeu getting off the mark as it’s a mediocre team like this he would normally shine against.
However the mess we’re in and low in confidence has me extremely worried. Sheffield are the extreme opposite going to the Vic with nothing to lose, and most probably go home with all 3 points and the young goalkeeper picking up the motm award.”

“Ideally we’d shoot at Henderson as much as possible to test him. Unfortunately with our attackers we may have lots of shots but the only danger will be to the crowd”


“Sheffield United have played well so far and far better than anyone anticipated but I fully expect them to burn out and be down there at the bottom come the season so 3 points from this is a must. We have more individual quality but Sheffield United have players that know their responsibilities and have a compact and solid 5-3-2 which Liverpool struggled to break down at the weekend. They are narrow and have 2 holding midfielders which makes it hard to play between the lines so I think we would be best off attacking them down the wings, therefore I would like to see us play Sarr on the right and Deulofeu on the left.”

“Prediction
Watford 2-3 Sheffield United
Sharp (og 23, og 72); Sharp (85, 88, 90+6)”

“Whatever happens, it’s always a laugh taking the piss out of Paddy Kenny in the Sheff Utd goal. I’ll look forward to that at least.”

“As long as we can nullify Tony Agana and Brian Deane we should be fine.”

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