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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 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8

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