Watford v Wolves - Match Preview
By Adam Carr
This week MARVEL’s Avenger’s End Game was released, and in the same week Wolves face their own end game, their last game this season against Watford out of 3. Just like the Avengers and Thanos, no matter what Wolves do they just haven’t been able to beat Watford, yet. Will Wolves v Watford: End Game finally be the time that Wolves beat Watford?
Wolves come into this game after a thrilling 3-1 victory at Molineux against Arsenal, their first win against the Gunners in 40 years. Watford, a point behind Wolves in the race for 7th, come off into the match off the back of a 1-1 draw with Southampton. Both Wolves and Watford have had unbelievable seasons and it’s been a few weeks now since the FA Cup Semi Final, where Wolves dominated Watford for large parts of the game, and then in the 79th minute, capitulated to gift Watford an FA Cup final with Manchester City.
Wolves are now looking to finish 7th in the Premier League to boost their hopes of Europa League football next season, while Watford will be hoping to win the FA Cup Final, but will also want to get 7th knowing that a win against Manchester City in the FA Cup Final is highly unlikely for them.
I looked over the history of this fixture only a few weeks ago, which you can find here, however we can still look into the previous games with the Hornets this season.
The first was a Premier League fixture at Watford, where two quick defensive mistakes gifted Watford a 2-0 victory. Wolves were, at this point, still using their old tactic from the Championship (which Nuno does still sometimes revert too). After this game, Nuno made some changes to the tactics to bolster the midfield and give us more balance across the field.
We went into our second game with Watford this season, the FA Cup Semi Final, playing in that reformed tactic that has gained us victories against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur this season, knowing that we had what it took to beat Watford. For 79 minutes of that game, Wolves showed it, with two great goals putting us into a 2-0 lead. The FA Cup Final was on the tip of our tongues, we could taste it and then all of a sudden Nuno switched to a more defensive tactic taking off attacking players and seemingly reverting to the old tactic. Wolves fell to pieces, lost their heads, and gave Watford a 3-2 victory in extra time.
Wolves players will still be hurting from this, and even though they got a fantastic win against Arsenal midweek, they will still have it in the back of their minds as they travel down to Watford this weekend. Conor Coady recently told Express & Star that he thinks he will be scared for life by that FA Cup Semi Final, and that it will haunt him forever.
Nuno has said that this game isn’t about revenge, and that every game is a new game. He is great at instilling the mentality he wants into his players, but you have to think that revenge over a team who stole an FA Cup Final from them must be at the back of their minds. Troy Deeney, banned for the game with Wolves, commented after the match that Raul Jimenez should wear his mask in public because he is a loser, showing a lack of class, whether joking or not. Wolves fans will be hoping that Raul can put Watford to the sword, and what would be better than Raul scoring and wearing that mask in Troy Deeney’s own backyard as we beat them in what will be billed a six-pointer in the race for 7th place?
In their last 3 games Watford have won 1, drew 1 and lost 1 while Wolves have won 1 and lost 2. Watford lost to Arsenal and drew with Southampton, while Wolves lost to Southampton but beat Arsenal, just there is an example that anything can happen in football.
Wolves have been in fine form in games that matter and games against the big teams, the FA Cup Semi Final being the biggest one, and the one they unfortunately slipped up in.
Saturday’s game matters to both teams, and to the players and managers it will be just as important as the FA Cup Semi Final. Wolves will be gunning for a win and so I’d plump for a Wolves 2-1 win against the Hornets.
Adam Carr is a Talking Wolves blogger. You can follow him on Twitter here.