It’s been a few years since Reading last faced Watford, so we’ve checked in with a Hornets fan to see how they’re getting on. We spoke to @RookeryMike from @WatfordPodcast about his team’s strong start to the season, the dangermen that Reading should be looking out for, and of course how the match will go.
A big TTE thanks to Mike for taking the time to answer our questions - you can find on From The Rookery End right here.
How would you sum up Watford’s start to the season?
While it would be churlish not to suggest that the Hornets have had a relatively straightforward start to the Premier League season, three wins from three is not to be sniffed at. The strike duo of Troy Deeney and Andre Gray look refreshed and focussed, and are being supported by a midfield that boasts an embarrassment of riches that includes Gerard Deulofeu, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Roberto Pereyra and Will Hughes.
It’s been a great start, but with Spurs and Manchester United on the horizon, no-one is getting carried away.
Do you have any particularly good or bad memories of games against us in past years?
The Madejski has been a happy hunting ground in recent years, with a 1-0 win when down to 10 men during our promotion season the most recent highlight. The biggest talking point when it comes to Watford and Reading however has to be the infamous ghost goal in 2008. Ten years ago this year - perhaps we should organise some sort of anniversary event with Stuart Atwell as the guest of honour?
Who are the Watford dangermen that Reading fans should be worried about?
It’s a hard one to call as I suspect there will be a number of changes to the starting XI, but Roberto Pereyra has started the season in explosive fashion, bagging three goals in the opening three matches. Deeney and Gray look sharp up front, and underestimate the diminutive Will Hughes at your peril.
Any weaknesses that Reading could try to exploit?
Watford still look slightly shaky at the back. Ben Foster proved he’s still got it with a fine display of goalkeeping against Crystal Palace at the weekend, but the four in front of him still look fragile against set pieces and crosses. It’s likely to be a shuffled defensive unit, too, so any uncertainty may be exacerbated.
How do you see the game going, and what will the score be?
Watford’s recent record in this tournament is woeful, so you won’t find any Hornets’ fans that are overly confident going into this one. I assume it’s likely that both teams will differ from those that took to the field at the weekend, which may even things out a bit. It’s a really tough one to call, but I’d like to think Watford have the strength in depth to safely navigate this one. I’ll tentatively go for 2-1 to the visitors.
Can Reading get past Watford to the next round of the Carabao Cup? Leave us a comment below.