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#QPR v WATFORD: PREVIEW

Written by Lukas Ross

With Watford chasing automatic promotion ahead of Monday night’s game in front of Sky cameras, I spoke to Watford fan Emilia Scott about Watford’s season so far, and their chances of promotion, or, even better (for them) the automatics.

Firstly Emilia, how has Watford’s season been?

ES: It’s been a strange one for us this season, we’re 4th in the table however many fans aren’t happy. The football we’ve played hasn’t been the most enjoyable to watch, relying very heavily on our defence. It seems to have improved a bit since appointing Xisco Munoz – we’ve now picked up 10 points in our last 4 and the players seem so much happier. Things look to be on the up so hopefully it will continue.

How have some key players for you been this term?

ES: Our key players have been those in the defence. Kiko Femenia, Francisco Sierralta, William Troost-Ekong and Ben Wilmot have all been stand out players for us this season along with the likes of Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele. Although currently injured, Ben Foster has made some super saves to keep us in games, the defence really has been the key to success for us this term and if it wasn’t for those players we wouldn’t be in the position that we are currently.

From an unbiased point of view, how would you rate your chances of promotion this season?

ES: At the beginning of the season I’m sure many people thought we’d be favourites to win the league or at least get automatics, especially with the strength and depth of our squad. We’re now sitting in 4th and if I’m being honest, that doesn’t reflect how we’ve been playing and we’re only in that position because of our defence. It’s tight up the top and with the new manager I reckon it’s still all to play for and hugely depends on whether or not we sign a striker on deadline day. Playoffs seem more realistic currently but you never know with this league.

Who have your 3 best players been this season?

ES: Kiko Femenia has been consistently one of our best players this season, along with Francisco Sierallta who began the season as 3rd or 4th choice centre back but since coming in has cemented his place in the starting XI. Ismaila Sarr has also been one positive in the attack for us this season. 

Who are your weak links in the team?

ES: Our strike force has definitely been the weak link for us this season. In total, Andre Gray and Troy Deeney have scored 2 goals from open play which simply isn’t good enough, especially if we want to get promoted.

How do you see the game on Monday night going?

ES: Going into Monday night I’m quite nervous. I feel like these next few games for us are season defining, the performances will show whether we have what it takes to get promoted or not. I haven’t really seen much of QPR this season but considering you’re in 19th and we’re in 4th I’m hoping we will dominate and come out on top. 

And finally, how do you rate your chances of promotion, albeit via the automatics or through the play offs?

ES: I’m not as confident as I was going into this season that we’ll get promoted but as I said before, it’s very close at the top and anything could happen between now and the end. I’d like to think we will at least get playoffs but that all depends on how we play these next few games as we have a tough run in at the end of the season so if we want to stand a chance of getting automatics or just promoted in general, we need to be picking up points at every opportunity we get.

Thanks to Emilia Scott (@wfcemilia on Twitter) for taking the time to do this interview.

TEAM NEWS:
Ken Sema faces a late fitness test to determine whether or not he will play on Monday. Forwards Stipe Perica, Isaac Success and Domingos Quina, goalkeeper Ben Foster (a.k.a. The Cycling GK, check out his YouTube channel), and centre half Christian Kabasele are all a few weeks away. Tom Dele-Bashiru remains a long-term absentee.

Meanwhile, Jordy de Wijs is not match fit to face the Hornets. Tom Carroll is out until mid-April, and Luke Amos remains the sole long term absentee.

HEAD TO HEAD:

In competitive matches and in friendlies, the last 5 matches between the two clubs have ended up like this:

QPR 2-1 Watford – Monday 21st April 2014

QPR 2-0 Watford – Saturday 30th July 2016

QPR 0-1 Watford – Friday 15th February 2019

QPR 0-1 Watford – Saturday 27th July 2019

QPR 1-1 Watford – Saturday 21st November 2020

FORM:

Since appointing Xisco Munoz just before Christmas, Watford have won all but 2 league matches.

QPR however, lost their last match against Derby, after winning back-to-back games. We have won just 4 games since the October international break.

Come on you R’s!

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