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Gianfranco Zola makes three changes to Watford side to face Ipswich Town
Watford may have opened their season with a dramatic late victory at Crystal Palace but that hasn’t stopped Gianfranco Zola from making three changes for the first home game of the campaign against Ipswich Town tonight.
Two of the alterations come in defence, with Lloyd Doyley and Carl Dickinson dropping to the bench, meaning Lee Hodson makes his first start of the season and the fit-again Daniel Pudil comes in for his debut following his summer arrival from Granada.
The other change sees skipper John Eustace miss out with injury and so Saturday’s match-winner Matej Vydra is promoted from a substitute's to take his place on the left side of the front three.
Martin Taylor takes over captaincy duties for the night, while there is a first appearance on the bench for another summer signing, Steve Beleck.
Paul Jewell’s side were unchanged from the one that opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, meaning Scott Loach ’s first away game for his new club is back at the ground he departed earlier this summer.
The hosts went into the game with a host of statistics seemingly in their favour as they sought to start the season with back-to-back league wins for the first time since 2007.
The Hornets were seeking their sixth straight win and a remarkable 16th match unbeaten in all competitions against the Tractor Boys.
Furthermore Ipswich, who last beat tonight’s opponents in March 2004 at Portman Road, had lost their last seven visits to Vicarage Road , the last four of which by a 2-1 scoreline.
Watford: Almunia; Hodson, Taylor, Nosworthy, Pudil; Hogg, Abdi, S Murray; Yeates, Garner, Vydra. Substitutes: Bond, Dickinson, Iwelumo, Doyley, Beleck, Anya, Smith.
Ipswich Town: Loach; Edwards, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell; Hyam, Luongo, Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Carson, Chopra. Substitutes: Lee-Barrett, Delaney, Ainsley, Drury, Stevenson, Scotland, R Murray.