Match Preview | Watford vs. Cardiff City
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Watford’s head coach is Chris Wilder, who was appointed by the club in March 2023, following the departure of Slaven Bilić.
During his playing career, Wilder was established in the EFL, representing the likes of Sheffield United, Rotherham United, Bradford City and with Brighton.
Having impressed at Alfreton Town and Halifax Town in his early days in management, Wilder’s breakthrough was during his time at Oxford United and Northampton Town, winning the National League play-offs with Oxford, before bring crowned EFL League Two champions with Northampton.
Moving to Sheffield United in 2016, Wilder’s five years at Bramall Lane were a huge success, taking the club from EFL League One to a ninth-place finish in their first season back in the top-flight.
Wilder left the Blades in March 2021, but returned management just seven months later with Middlesbrough, whom he departed in October 2022.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | LAST THREE
Watford head into Wednesday evening’s fixture on the back of recording four points in their last three games. The Hornets fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Huddersfield Town, before a 2-2 draw against Coventry City.
Wilder’s men were leading 2-0 at the break against the Sky Blues after goals from João Pedro and Imran Louza, but conceded twice in the second period.
In their most recent fixture, Watford ended a run of four games without a win, as they recorded a 2-0 victory over Bristol City.
Harry Cornick’s early own-goal put the Hornets ahead, with Brazilian attacker Pedro netting to secure all three points.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYERS
Watford’s two key players this season have been attackers Pedro and Sarr. Pedro is the club’s top scorer with 11 goals so far this campaign, as well as contributing with four assists. The Brazilian averages a goal every 237 minutes, with a shot accuracy of 49%. Sarr has also been a huge threat for the Hornets this season. The winger has nine goals to his tally, with seven assists.
Both Pedro and Sarr started their recent win over Bristol City and are fit for Wednesday’s clash.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | CITY’S RECORD
City’s first ever meeting with Watford was an FA Cup tie back in January 1923, which ended in a 1-1 draw. The tie had to be replayed twice, after the two sides couldn’t be separated in a 2-2 draw four days later.
It was third time lucky for the Bluebirds, who claimed a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Herbie Evans and Len Davies.
The two sides have been evenly matched in their 60 meetings, with 23 victories each and 14 draws.
In the reverse fixture back in November, Watford claimed all three points despite Cédric Kipré giving the Bluebirds the lead, as Francisco Sierralta and Ismaïla Sarr got on the scoresheet for the Hornets.