Watford roll into town tomorrow to provide the next test of Calderwood's Reds' credentials at the City Ground. All the build up seems to be focused on whether CC will stick (with roughly the side that tasted defeat in Wales last week) or twist (by adding in a returning Tyson or Cole). Given the Scot's propensity for caution it strikes me that Tyson will possibly only feature from the bench - and a quick burst of his pacy direct play may just be what's needed to unlock a tough looking defence in a solid Watford side.
Some predict that Bootroyd's side will struggle this term after losing star players such as Danny Shittu, Darius Henderson and Nathan Ellington in the transfer window. The signs were also poor after going on an appalling run at the back of last season which saw their fantastic early season sparkle fizzle out.
However they still have quality players for this level with Tommy Smith and Jobi McAnuff likely to create problems, veterans Mart Poom, John Eustace and Damien Francis providing the know-how and the signing of Gregorz Rasiak adding to their goal threat.
It's not a game to take lightly and the loss of Lewis McGugan will be difficult to make up for. I think CC will once again try to pack the midfield to try and dominate the game and hope that we can carve openings for Earnshaw to pounce on. I predict the line up will be (in the usual 433/451 formation) -
With - Thornhill, Roberts, Breckin, Newbold, Tyson (or Sinclair) warming the bench
There's no reason why that line up can't pose a threat and the move to the centre could benefit Cohen become more involved in the play but once again the passing and build up will need to be accurate and we can't afford to let Earnshaw become isolated.
I fear the game could be a tough 1-1 but let's hope the Hornets are sent packing empty handed to kick start the season with a first win......