By Steve Manning
Venue: Vicarage Road Stadium (capacity: 21,577)
Competition/Round: Carabao Cup – Round 2
Previous Carabao Cup Results: Watford enter in this round; The Dons beat Sutton United at Stadium MK 1-0.
Watford FC – Championship: 2nd – PD 5 W 2 D 3 L 0 GF 4 GA 2 GD +2 Pts 9. (40% Win Percentage)
Previous Result: Preston North End 0 Watford 0
Top Scorers: Manaj, Tom Cleverley, Ismaila Sarr, João Pedro – 1 each.
Assists: Sema – 2, Sarr, Cathcart – 1 each.
The Dons – League One: 22nd – PD 5 W 1 D 1 L 3 GF 3 GA 7 GD -4 Pts 4. (25% Win Percentage)
Previous Result: Dons 1 Accrington Stanley 1
Top Scorers: Bradley Johnson – 2, Conor Grant, Ethan Robson – 1 each.
Assists: Dawson Devoy, Matt Smith – 1 each.
Accrington Stanley Review
The Dons threw away two points as plucky Stanley won a contentious penalty decision late on in this scrappy league one encounter on Saturday afternoon, at Stadium MK which ended in a 1-1 Draw. Ethan Robson gifted Dons the lead after he hit a thunderous effort from 25 yards out, after riding a challenge, with his strike curling past Stanley keeper Lukas Jensen on the half hour mark.
Dons had nearly conceded inside the second minute as Joe Pritchard pulled the ball back for Korede Adedoyin, completely unmarked, to get a shot off on the goal of Jamie Cumming. The on-loan Chelsea stopper pulled off an excellent save to deny Accrington a shock lead. The Dons almost had a second goal to their name when Dan Kemp’s attempted shot on Jensen’s goal took a deflection, before being cleared off the line by Stanley captain Seamus Conneely. Accrington managed to stay in the game, and their determination paid dividends as they won their penalty decision. Warren O’Hora felled Adedoyin inside the Dons area, up stepped winger Sean McConville on the 78th minute to send Jamie Cumming the wrong way.
How could Watford line up?
The Hornets are expected to make wholesale changes to the side that went second in the Championship at the weekend. Ismaila Sarr is subject to a move to Aston Villa so will unlikely feature in this Cup tie.
Possible Watford XI: 3-4-1-2
Franco Sierralta – Craig Cathcart – Mattie Pollock
Jeremy Ngakia – Imran Louza – Hamza Choudhury – Ken Sema
Vakoun Bayo – Dapo Mebude
How could Dons line up?
Liam Manning is expected to field a strong side against Watford, while rotating in key areas. While this Cup is not seen as the priority for the club, a cup run gives fringe players a chance for game time and earns revenue for Dons as well.
Possible Dons XI: 3-4-3
Warren O’Hora, Jack Tucker, Zak Jules
Daniel Oyegoke, Ethan Robson, Dawson Devoy, Henry Lawrence
Darragh Burns, Matt Dennis, Matt Smith
One’s to watch
Yäser Asprilla – Watford: This 18-year-old attacking midfielder is earning rave reviews from many quarters who follow the Hornets. The Colombian has broken through into the first team at Vicarage Road following his transfer from Envigado, based in his homeland. Asprilla is a pacy attacking midfielder, blessed with a fine first touch, and fearless when one on one with his opponent. Asprilla can pick out passes at will, and if left to his own devices could ruffle a few feathers tonight.
Matt Smith – The Dons – Welsh International Smith has everything that we need to compete with Watford, tenacity, vision, passing ability, and the willingness to take the shot on when it presents itself. He has yet to notch up a goal so far this season, however, the space he and his teammates are likely to be afforded at Vicarage Road could see the former Manchester City man be able to express his talents out on the pitch. Tonight, is as good a time as any for Smith to make a name for himself, and that is why he is my Don to watch.
Score Prediction – Watford 1 The Dons 2
A tale of two rotated side’s tonight, I am going for a cup upset with our Dons to win it in normal time 2-1.
Goal scorers? Matt Smith, and Dawson Devoy.
Current Match Odds – supplied by Oddschecker
Watford Win: 8/15 Draw: 3/1 Dons Win: 11/2:
Dons to Win 2-1: 16/1
Enjoy the game, and safe travels to everyone heading down to Vicarage Road tonight.
Come on you Dons!
Next Up: Morecambe (A) Saturday 27th August.
Until Next Time, SM.