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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 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13

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