Watford boss Gianfranco Zola wary of Charlton Athletic's winless sequence ahead of New Year's Day clash

Fitz Hall will miss the Charlton Athletic game with a hamstring injury. Picture: Holly Cant

Fitz Hall will miss the Charlton Athletic game with a hamstring injury. Picture: Holly Cant

First published in Sport by , Group Sports Editor

Watford ended this year with a win and they will look to start 2013 in identical fashion when they face Charlton Athletic at Vicarage Road tomorrow as they seek to further strengthen their grip on a top-six place.

The Hornets will go into the game without Fitz Hall, who sustained a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half of Saturday’s 3-1 victory at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Speaking this lunchtime, head coach Gianfranco Zola said: “It’s not as bad as we thought it could be. It will keep him out for maybe a couple of weeks, we don’t know yet.”

Apart from Lloyd Doyley, who is still working his way back to match fitness following his injury lay-off, Zola has a fully fit squad to choose from and also has Marco Cassetti available again after he missed the Seagulls win through suspension.

However, the Hornets boss says he has yet to decide whether to make changes for his side’s first home game of the new year.

“I don’t know to be honest,” he replied when asked if he would alter his team. “It is an option I have, I don’t know whether I’m going to use it or not. I will decide tomorrow.”

Chris Powell’s outfit come to Vicarage Road on the back of a six-game winless run but Zola is not reading too much into that sequence.

“I don’t trust those results,” he said. “This Championship is always very tricky so it’s not necessarily a good thing they haven’t won in the last six. I know they will be focused, they will cause us problems so we will have to be at our best if we want to win.

“We want to start the new year in the same good shape because, as we said the other day, if we want to consolidate the position that we have achieved we need to keep taking advantage of the home games and winning them.”

Comments (24)

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3:33pm Mon 31 Dec 12

aefevans says...

A couple of weeks? That's our 52 points out of the window. Neuton didn't do too badly at the weekend, so let's hope Doyley's fit enough soon. The last thing I want is to play Dale Bennett.
A couple of weeks? That's our 52 points out of the window. Neuton didn't do too badly at the weekend, so let's hope Doyley's fit enough soon. The last thing I want is to play Dale Bennett. aefevans
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Mon 31 Dec 12

goldanboy says...

Already it looks like Fitz's injury prone tag is justified. However under the old regime we would be struggling, but now we have some good cover at the back and it's not a problem. With such depth to this squad, this could be the time of year where we start rolling over teams. The best thing about this squad is the fact that they're not all 'like for like' players and everyone has something different to bring to the team...even the centerbacks
Already it looks like Fitz's injury prone tag is justified. However under the old regime we would be struggling, but now we have some good cover at the back and it's not a problem. With such depth to this squad, this could be the time of year where we start rolling over teams. The best thing about this squad is the fact that they're not all 'like for like' players and everyone has something different to bring to the team...even the centerbacks goldanboy
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Hampshire hornet says...

Fitz Hall has been immense, old regime he would have been risked.. This is the beauty of our squad!! We can rest key players and then they are fully recouperated for when needed.. For the Thousandth time... Thank you Pozzo family...
Fitz Hall has been immense, old regime he would have been risked.. This is the beauty of our squad!! We can rest key players and then they are fully recouperated for when needed.. For the Thousandth time... Thank you Pozzo family... Hampshire hornet
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Holly68 says...

Even with Doyley and Hall injured we still have Hoban, Ekstrand, Neuton, Nosworthy and Thompson to pick from, no worries
Even with Doyley and Hall injured we still have Hoban, Ekstrand, Neuton, Nosworthy and Thompson to pick from, no worries Holly68
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Holly68 says...

I expect this to be the team tomorrow :

Almunia
Hoban
Ekstrand
Neuton
Cassetti
Abdi
Eustace
Hogg
Pudil
Deeney
Vydra

Subs :
Bond
Nosworthy
Battochio
FF
Geijo
MBia
Murray

Expect lots of changes for Man City
I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City Holly68
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Holly68 says...

Holly68 wrote:
I expect this to be the team tomorrow :

Almunia
Hoban
Ekstrand
Neuton
Cassetti
Abdi
Eustace
Hogg
Pudil
Deeney
Vydra

Subs :
Bond
Nosworthy
Battochio
FF
Geijo
MBia
Murray

Expect lots of changes for Man City
Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City[/p][/quote]Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out Holly68
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Mon 31 Dec 12

JohnnyBarnes says...

Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
I expect this to be the team tomorrow :

Almunia
Hoban
Ekstrand
Neuton
Cassetti
Abdi
Eustace
Hogg
Pudil
Deeney
Vydra

Subs :
Bond
Nosworthy
Battochio
FF
Geijo
MBia
Murray

Expect lots of changes for Man City
Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out
Agreed. Chalobah, Vydra and Deeney all rested with a view to getting them back in for City. Those three are fundamental to the counter-attacking game we'll have to play at the Etihad, and Fessi can better open up teams at home.

I personally don't mind Ekstrand, Hoban and Neuton together either. Hall's a big miss, but the back three he leaves behind are all quick and very capable.

The difference in depth between this season and last is unbelievable.
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City[/p][/quote]Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out[/p][/quote]Agreed. Chalobah, Vydra and Deeney all rested with a view to getting them back in for City. Those three are fundamental to the counter-attacking game we'll have to play at the Etihad, and Fessi can better open up teams at home. I personally don't mind Ekstrand, Hoban and Neuton together either. Hall's a big miss, but the back three he leaves behind are all quick and very capable. The difference in depth between this season and last is unbelievable. JohnnyBarnes
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Boosey says...

Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City
Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out
I rest my case!
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City[/p][/quote]Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out[/p][/quote]I rest my case! Boosey
  • Score: 0

6:47pm Mon 31 Dec 12

goldanboy says...

Yea I expect FF to play tomorrow. Rather amusing comment on the official Charlton website.
"Watford are no pushovers...unless there's a slight contact in the penalty area".
Yea I expect FF to play tomorrow. Rather amusing comment on the official Charlton website. "Watford are no pushovers...unless there's a slight contact in the penalty area". goldanboy
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Jmenezes says...

Why doyley ir Neuton os beter??? Neuton did a great game in the last match. I hope that caseti return coz we had problens in the right side to control lualua.
Why doyley ir Neuton os beter??? Neuton did a great game in the last match. I hope that caseti return coz we had problens in the right side to control lualua. Jmenezes
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Mon 31 Dec 12

AngelHornet says...

Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
I expect this to be the team tomorrow :

Almunia
Hoban
Ekstrand
Neuton
Cassetti
Abdi
Eustace
Hogg
Pudil
Deeney
Vydra

Subs :
Bond
Nosworthy
Battochio
FF
Geijo
MBia
Murray

Expect lots of changes for Man City
Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out
Eustace on the bench with Yeates in for Chalobah.
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City[/p][/quote]Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out[/p][/quote]Eustace on the bench with Yeates in for Chalobah. AngelHornet
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Mon 31 Dec 12

WessexLad says...

I would be very surprised if it isn't FF and Geijo up front. Could also give Nosworthy a run out so that we have a fourth CB match sharp, if not yet match fit, on the bench on Saturday.
I would be very surprised if it isn't FF and Geijo up front. Could also give Nosworthy a run out so that we have a fourth CB match sharp, if not yet match fit, on the bench on Saturday. WessexLad
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Mon 31 Dec 12

Holly68 says...

Tomorrow is more important than Saturday. My team is for tomorrow, I expect the changes to come into play for City. FF and Geijo will start against City
Tomorrow is more important than Saturday. My team is for tomorrow, I expect the changes to come into play for City. FF and Geijo will start against City Holly68
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Mon 31 Dec 12

holtonian says...

Boosey wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City
Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out
I rest my case!
Good side picked.
[quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: I expect this to be the team tomorrow : Almunia Hoban Ekstrand Neuton Cassetti Abdi Eustace Hogg Pudil Deeney Vydra Subs : Bond Nosworthy Battochio FF Geijo MBia Murray Expect lots of changes for Man City[/p][/quote]Chalobah picked up a knock on Saturday so expect Eustace to be given a run out[/p][/quote]I rest my case![/p][/quote]Good side picked. holtonian
  • Score: 0

12:33am Tue 1 Jan 13

DuffmanWFC says...

I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall.
Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri!
For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going!
Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away!
Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns!
I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall. Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri! For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going! Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away! Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns! DuffmanWFC
  • Score: 0

3:03am Tue 1 Jan 13

Holly68 says...

DuffmanWFC wrote:
I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall.
Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri!
For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going!
Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away!
Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns!
Bang on
[quote][p][bold]DuffmanWFC[/bold] wrote: I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall. Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri! For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going! Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away! Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns![/p][/quote]Bang on Holly68
  • Score: 0

3:05am Tue 1 Jan 13

Holly68 says...

DuffmanWFC wrote:
I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall.
Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri!
For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going!
Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away!
Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns!
Team for Man City


Bond
Nosworthy
Thompson
Doyley
Eustace
Yeats
Battochio
Anaya
Murray
FF
Geijo
[quote][p][bold]DuffmanWFC[/bold] wrote: I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall. Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri! For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going! Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away! Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns![/p][/quote]Team for Man City Bond Nosworthy Thompson Doyley Eustace Yeats Battochio Anaya Murray FF Geijo Holly68
  • Score: 0

9:59am Tue 1 Jan 13

Travelling Hornet says...

Holly68 wrote:
DuffmanWFC wrote:
I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall.
Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri!
For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going!
Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away!
Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns!
Team for Man City


Bond
Nosworthy
Thompson
Doyley
Eustace
Yeats
Battochio
Anaya
Murray
FF
Geijo
You must off had too many bottles of champagne to come up with that line up!
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DuffmanWFC[/bold] wrote: I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall. Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri! For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going! Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away! Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns![/p][/quote]Team for Man City Bond Nosworthy Thompson Doyley Eustace Yeats Battochio Anaya Murray FF Geijo[/p][/quote]You must off had too many bottles of champagne to come up with that line up! Travelling Hornet
  • Score: 0

10:15am Tue 1 Jan 13

KeithMercer says...

No Holly dont think so mate !
Hope you get rid of the hangover and come back to your senses .
No Holly dont think so mate ! Hope you get rid of the hangover and come back to your senses . KeithMercer
  • Score: 0

10:16am Tue 1 Jan 13

KeithMercer says...

No Holly dont think so mate !
Hope you get rid of the hangover and come back to your senses .
No Holly dont think so mate ! Hope you get rid of the hangover and come back to your senses . KeithMercer
  • Score: 0

10:37am Tue 1 Jan 13

gloryhornet4 says...

goldanboy wrote:
Yea I expect FF to play tomorrow. Rather amusing comment on the official Charlton website.
"Watford are no pushovers...unless there's a slight contact in the penalty area".
Thanks Goldan, - would like to think that is more to do with the soft pens against, rather than for.

With humour like this - keep it coming please.

Happy New Year to all who support the 'orns.
[quote][p][bold]goldanboy[/bold] wrote: Yea I expect FF to play tomorrow. Rather amusing comment on the official Charlton website. "Watford are no pushovers...unless there's a slight contact in the penalty area".[/p][/quote]Thanks Goldan, - would like to think that is more to do with the soft pens against, rather than for. With humour like this - keep it coming please. Happy New Year to all who support the 'orns. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 0

11:25am Tue 1 Jan 13

rousman 2 says...

Travelling Hornet wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
DuffmanWFC wrote:
I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall.
Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri!
For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going!
Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away!
Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns!
Team for Man City


Bond
Nosworthy
Thompson
Doyley
Eustace
Yeats
Battochio
Anaya
Murray
FF
Geijo
You must off had too many bottles of champagne to come up with that line up!
Agree if you put that team out against Man City you might as well stay at home. We have 6000 fans going to the game Zola is not going to put out a second string.
[quote][p][bold]Travelling Hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DuffmanWFC[/bold] wrote: I expect the only changes to be Cassetti for Anya and Neuton for Hall. Maybe Nosworthy and Murray may make bench and hopefully feature for the last 30 mins along with either Geijo or Forestieri! For me Vydra and Deeney are our best front two for scoring goals and we should look to keep that partnership going! Must win game as this could be the start of us pulling away from 7th place and catching up on 2nd/3rd/4th as Hull, Boro and Cardiff are all away! Happy New Year everyone and come on you Orns![/p][/quote]Team for Man City Bond Nosworthy Thompson Doyley Eustace Yeats Battochio Anaya Murray FF Geijo[/p][/quote]You must off had too many bottles of champagne to come up with that line up![/p][/quote]Agree if you put that team out against Man City you might as well stay at home. We have 6000 fans going to the game Zola is not going to put out a second string. rousman 2
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Tue 1 Jan 13

DuffmanWFC says...

Zola will play his best team possible against Man City. I should imagine that the likes of Murray, Nosworthy and Geijo will come on with 30 mins to go if we are 2/3 up against Charlton.
We need a win today and we need to test our best side against Man City.
We've had a week off prior to the Brighton game so I don't see any real rotation till the following Championship game.
Zola will play his best team possible against Man City. I should imagine that the likes of Murray, Nosworthy and Geijo will come on with 30 mins to go if we are 2/3 up against Charlton. We need a win today and we need to test our best side against Man City. We've had a week off prior to the Brighton game so I don't see any real rotation till the following Championship game. DuffmanWFC
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Tue 1 Jan 13

Bringe says...

The Pozzo's make their money from selling star players, though it's unlikely for this window, this game gives a good opportunity to showcase what we are all about
After a couple of dodgy results Mancini will get hammered if City lose to us so I think they will also be close to full strength.

A packed stadium, plenty of them neutrals that will cheer us on ... I can't wait.
The Pozzo's make their money from selling star players, though it's unlikely for this window, this game gives a good opportunity to showcase what we are all about After a couple of dodgy results Mancini will get hammered if City lose to us so I think they will also be close to full strength. A packed stadium, plenty of them neutrals that will cheer us on ... I can't wait. Bringe
  • Score: 0

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