Hornets to sting Yeovil

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: February 18 2014, 23:43 GMT

Craig Chisnall looks ahead to the midweek Sky Bet Football League action and is backing Watford to win at Yeovil.

Watford can pick up another crucial win
Watford can pick up another crucial win

It wasn't long ago that Watford were looking over their shoulders in the Sky Bet Championship but now they will go to rock-bottom Yeovil bidding to crank up the pressure on the top six.

When a woeful run of results, particularly at Vicarage Road, saw off boss Gianfranco Zola - the man who guided them to the play-off final last term - in favour of Giuseppe Sannino the Hornets were sliding dangerously towards the danger zone.

But Sannino, a journeyman boss in his native Italy, is now clearly having an effect in Hertfordshire.

Saturday's 1-0 home win over Middlesbrough was their third win in four and made it ten points from the last 12 available.

That has been built on the back of a much-improved defensive record, with three clean sheets coming in that period, and star striker Troy Deeney is back in the goals. His winner over Boro was his 14th of the season and they are now back into the top half.

The Glovers also have the worst home record in the division with just two wins all term at Huish Park and they've scored just ten goals in their 14 games in Somerset.

Get on Sannino's men to add to their misery at 11/10.

In League One, I'm going with Preston to continue their fine form away from Deepdale with a win at MK Dons.

It is North End's away form that is keeping them on the tails of the top two with nine wins already coming on their travels compared to just six at home.

Of their 15 away games they've lost just twice and conceded only 12 goals, how Simon Grayson must wish they had something similar in Lancashire.

They won't have it all their own way with the Dons winning their last two home games with Saturday's 2-1 success over Oldham secured by Ben Reeves' 90th minute goal.

But Karl Robinson's squad had lost three games on the before those victories and their inconsistency this term has kept them well off the play-off pace.

At 17/10 I wouldn't ignore North End to make it into double figures on their travels.

Just like Preston, Oxford are another team who have preferred life on their travels this term.

The U's, who are still under the caretaker charge of Mickey Lewis, have won seven and drawn the same number away from home to still have an unbeaten record at this stage.

They've barely noticed the departure of boss Chris Wilder for Northampton at the end of January - they haven't lost any of their five matches under Lewis to make it eight without defeat.

In that run they've also drawn the last three matches away from home with an improvement in their patchy home form, they beat Mansfield 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium this weekend, moving them back into the automatic promotion places.

Next up for them is a League Two trip to Newport, who will be desperate to get back into action at Rodney Parade having lost six of their last seven scheduled home games to the weather.

They finally saw their first action in February at the weekend with a 3-0 defeat to Hartlepool but have had just one home match in the league since December 1.

County do have a fine home record with seven wins from the ten matches they've managed to play and Oxford won't have it all their own way.

That's why the draw at 23/10 looks juicy on a pitch that is unlikely to produce a classic encounter.

  • Posted at 1055 GMT on 17/02/2014.

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