Hornets to see off Huddersfield

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: January 16 2013, 13:22 GMT

Craig Chisnall makes Watford his best bet this weekend when they take on Huddersfield in the Championship.

Gianfranco Zola and Watford can take three more points
Gianfranco Zola and Watford can take three more points

Watford have certainly been pleasing on the eye this season - let's hope they put a smile on our faces this weekend as I'm tipping them to see off struggling Huddersfield.

After a summer of upheaval that saw the Pozzo family purchase the club before immediately replacing manager Sean Dyche with Gianfranco Zola and a whole host of players come in, the Hornets have gelled brilliantly.

Zola has raided the Pozzo's other clubs, Udinese in Serie A and La Liga's Granada, for several of his squad and they are right in the promotion mix.

The form of Matej Vydra has been particularly key with his two goals in the impressive win at Middlesbrough last weekend taking him to 14 for the season.

He will fancy his chances of adding to that tally with Simon Grayson's Town without a win in 11 league matches.

That has seen the Terriers slip into the bottom half and I can't see them halting that run in Hertfordshire. Get on the Hornets at 4/5 with Coral to crank up the pressure on their promotion rivals.

Like Huddersfield, Birmingham are looking nervously over their shoulder and I believe the gloom will darken over St Andrew's when Brighton visit.

The Blues were dumped out of the FA Cup by Leeds on Tuesday night but all the talk was over the future of goalkeeper Jack Butland.

The Team GB Olympic keeper was again left out to avoid him being cup tied with a move to boost the coffers looking likely before the weekend.

Butland has been one of the bright spots of a miserable campaign and the home fans angst is growing by the day.

And with the Seagulls arriving on the back of impressive wins over Newcastle, Ipswich and Derby I like the look of the 13/8 offered by bet365.

The other price that stands out in the Championship this weekend is in the early kick-off as Derby entertain arch-rivals Nottingham Forest.

There's no love lost between these two but it's the Rams who have dominated this fixture in recent times. They've won the last three and are a good price to make it a fourth.

They've saved their best form for Pride Park, where they have already won seven times, and Forest don't travel too well either.

New boss Alex McLeish has hardly got off to a flyer since he surprisingly replaced Sean O'Driscoll over Christmas and a sketchy 2-1 home win over Peterborough will hardly inspire confidence.

Stan James and Coral offer the Rams at 6/4 and that's a price I will be taking advantage of.

In League One, promotion chasing Brentford, Doncaster and Swindon all return to home action and look good to come up trumps in a treble.

The Bees have the stiffest test as they welcome leaders Tranmere to fortress Griffin Park but I think they have enough in their young squad to crank up the pressure on Ronnie Moore's men.

They will be full of confidence after securing an FA Cup tie with Chelsea with a win over Southend in midweek and I fancy them to deliver a ninth home win of the season.

Doncaster responded in fine style to Dean Saunders departure to Wolves with a win at Stevenage, their fourth in five, and they should continue their good form when Leyton Orient travel to the Keepmoat.

And the form book points to a home banker for Swindon - Shrewsbury are the visitors to the County Ground and have won just once on the road this season.

Elsewhere backing the bottom side might seem a strange decision but I believe Hartlepool represent good value as they welcome woefully out of sorts Colchester to the North East.

Pools have improved since John Hughes took over and the battling 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury last weekend pointed to better things ahead and they've also beaten Sheffield United recently.

And the U's could not be in worse form - they've lost their last nine on the spin so take the 6/4 on the home win.

My big price bet came up trumps with Scunthorpe winning at Colchester at more than 2/1 last weekend and the 11/5 with bet365 on Preston winning at Yeovil is my outsider this time.

North End have won just once in 11 and the pressure is growing on boss Graham Westley after their woeful 3-1 home defeat to Walsall on Sunday.

But the arrival of defender Paul Connolly will boost their backline and it's on the road that their best form has come.

They've already won five times away from Deepdale and their under-performing squad look too big to ignore this weekend.

  • Preview posted at 1310 GMT on 16/01/2013.