Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Watford
The Bluebirds return to action this weekend, taking on Watford in the Welsh capital. The Hornets will travel to Cardiff City Stadium to face Mick McCarthy’s men on Saturday, March 13th, with a 3pm kick-off.
How do I watch the match?
A Cardiff City TV Match Pass can be purchased now for just £10 in the UK & Ireland. International Match Passes are available for just £7 per game, or £20 a month.
Cardiff City TV's broadcast includes a pre-match show ahead of a multi-camera production, with Jason Perry joining our pre-match and commentary teams for this weekend's visit of the Hornets.
Supporters in the UK & Ireland can also purchase a Commentary Pass for £5 a month, or for just £15 for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
How can I purchase the matchday programme?
There are two ways to get hold of the Cardiff City vs. Watford matchday programme.
The Bluebird – edition 18 for 2020/21, featuring Dillon Phillips as cover star and feature interview, can be ordered and delivered in its traditional print format from Cardiff City FC SuperStore. Click here to buy your copy!
The Bluebird is now available digitally as well as in its traditional print format. The Watford edition will be available to digitally download from 5pm on Friday, March 12th.
Individual digital copies of The Bluebird can be purchased before each game for £1.99 per edition.
Mick pre-Watford | The lads are feeling fresh and sharp
City boss Mick McCarthy held a pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend visit of Watford, having enjoyed the benefits of a full week on the training pitch with the players.
“It's been unusual actually, but it's been good for the players and for us as well because we had the weekend without a game.
“It was a real intense schedule, certainly as we ended up playing Wednesday-Saturday, Tuesday-Friday.
“It was good for them all to get a bit of a break and they're all feeling a bit fresher and a bit sharper. Hopefully that will benefit us on Saturday."
Opposition Focus: Season so far
The Hornets are in prime position to make an immediate return to the Premier League following their top-flight relegation last season. With 35 league matches played, Watford sit in second position in the division ahead of the weekend’s matches, with 19 victories, nine draws and seven defeats to their name.
The arrival of Xisco Muñoz on December 20th has seen the Hornets halt their slide down the table and move back into the automatic promotion places. The Spaniard has overseen 15 Championship fixtures since replacing Vladimar Ivić in the Vicarage Road dugout, with his side recording ten victories during that time to revive their hopes of securing a top-two spot at the end of the campaign.
The Hornets have suffered just one defeat in their past seven league matches, which came at the Vitality Stadium on February 27th, as AFC Bournemouth recorded a narrow 1-0 win. Since then, Watford have picked up two valuable victories at home during the month of March, beginning with a 2-0 triumph over Wycombe Wanderers. Last weekend, Xisco’s side defeated Nottingham Forest 1-0, a win which elevated the Hornets back into the top two with eleven Championship matches remaining.
Opposition Focus: Winter window
Watford made a number of signings during the January window, adding five new faces to their first team squad. The Hornets kicked off their winter business on January 1st, confirming the arrival of Danish winger Philip Zinckernagel. The 26-year-old joined from FK Bodø/Glimt, with whom he had recorded 19 goals and 18 assists during the 2020 Norwegian Eliteserien season.
Later in the month, Xisco added Premier League and Championship experience to his squad via the acquisition of Dan Gosling from fellow promotion chasers AFC Bournemouth, with the 31-year-old signing a two-and-a-half-year contract at Vicarage Road. The former Newcastle United midfielder was joined by two other ex-Magpies, who both made the move directly from St. James’ Park; veteran goalkeeper Rob Elliot signed for Watford on January 28th, whilst left-back Achraf Lazaar followed on February 11th.
On March 4th, the Hornets added one final player to their squad, bringing former Colombian international Carlos Sanchez to the club. The 35-year-old midfielder is no stranger to English football, having previously featured for Aston Villa and West Ham United, and will be hoping to utilise his experience in order to propel Watford back into the top flight.
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch
Ken Sema has been a consistent performer in Watford’s attack this term, with three goals and five assists to his name in the Championship thus far. The 27-year-old spent last season on loan with Udinese, and has cemented his place in the Hornets’ starting eleven since his return to Hertfordshire. Sema, who can operate on either flank, has started 28 of Watford’s 35 league matches, and scored a brace during their recent 6-0 victory over Bristol City.
Will Hughes missed the first few months of the campaign through injury, but has shown his quality since returning to the Watford starting eleven. The former England U21 man was absent for all but 4 matches under Vladimir Ivić after undergoing surgery in the summer, yet has played a more prominent role under Xisco. The midfielder, who has scored two league goals this season, has made 11 starts since the Spaniard’s arrival and wore the captain armband against Nottingham Forest last weekend.
Daniel Bachmann has been made to wait for his first league appearance in a Watford shirt, having originally joined the club in July 2017. With a recent injury ruling Ben Foster out of the side indefinitely, the Austrian stopper was finally handed his starting chance on January 16th against Huddersfield Town. The 26-year-old has not looked back since, keeping eight clean sheets from his 13 subsequent appearances between the sticks to help the Hornets maintain the joint-best defensive record in the division.