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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 14,761) 20th September 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Attwell

Watford Watford vs Reading Reading

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Watford v Reading preview

Fifteenth host fifth in Championship clash

By Will Wood.   Last Updated: 19/09/08 2:35pm

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Doyle: On-form

Doyle: On-form

Watford welcome fifth-placed Reading to Vicarage Road looking to kick-start their Championship campaign.

A mixed start to The Hornets' campaign has seen them take seven points from a possible eighteen, with victories over Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town undermined by successive losses to Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth.

Steve Coppell's men, though, have all the momentum following their midweek 6-0 destruction of Sheffield Wednesday, and they have recorded three wins in their own six games thus far.

Boothroyd will, however, take solace from the fact that The Royals are yet to win on the road, with one draw and two losses harnessing the current position.

The last time these two sides met was in the Premier League, with Watford taking four points from the two games, though the fixture at Vicarage Road ended in a goalless draw.

Team news

Boothroyd will be without Tamas Priskin and Lloyd Doyley, with the duo sidelined having sustained hamstring strains in the midweek 2-1 defeat to Plymouth.

Adrian Mariappa and Will Hoskins are set to replace them, with the latter his manager's only striking option given Grzegorz Rasiak's shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Coppell can enjoy almost a full squad to pick from, with Ivar Ingimarsson recovering from a stomach illness.

However, Andre Bikey's impressive performance in the 6-0 annihilation of Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, capped off with a goal, may see the former-Iceland international confined to the bench.

Unsurprisingly, Coppell may well opt for the same line-up in successive games with Kevin Doyle, who netted a second home hattrick in a row, partnered by Noel Hunt in The Royals' attack following the latter's own brace against The Owls.

Captain Graeme Murty's return has been delayed once again after aggravating his calf injury, while Kalifa Cisse missed out once again with a troublesome toe.

Marek Matejovsky is also absent as he continues his comeback from a knee injury, though Michael Duberry is now only weeks away from a return.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 39 73
2 Watford 39 72
3 Middlesbrough 39 72
4 Norwich City 39 70
5 Derby County 39 67
6 Ipswich Town 39 67
7 Brentford 39 66
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 39 65
9 Nottingham Forest 39 57
10 Blackburn Rovers 39 54
11 Charlton Athletic 39 54
12 Sheffield Wednesday 39 53
13 Leeds United 39 52
14 Cardiff City 39 51
15 Birmingham City 38 47
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 39 45
17 Bolton Wanderers 39 45
18 Huddersfield Town 39 44
19 Reading 38 44
20 Fulham 39 43
21 Rotherham United 39 40
22 Wigan Athletic 39 35
23 Millwall 39 33
24 Blackpool 39 23

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