Ahead of Birmingham City's trip to Watford, football statistics website WhoScored.com
have taken the opportunity to preview the fixture.
The Blues landed an impressive 2-0 win at Charlton Athletic on Saturday courtesy of goals from Federico Macheda, while Watford sacrificed a two-goal lead in their draw with Leicester. Daniel Drinkwater’s late equaliser will have been a real sucker punch to the Hornets and Lee Clark’s side will be keen to worsen Watford’s defensive woes. Birmingham are only two points behind Watford and a win will see the go above them in the table.
In the corresponding fixture earlier this season, on the opening day in fact an early goal from Watford striker Troy Deeney was enough to give Watford a narrow 1-0 victory.
Giuseppe Sannino’s team have conceded 6 goals in their last 4 matches in all competitions and Birmingham will be confident of heaping further misery upon tonight's opponents, with the onus on striker Lee Novak to perform. The 25-year-old is the Blues' top goalscorer in the Championship this season with 5 goals and such is Watford’s inability to shut out the opposition of late, he'll fancy himself to build on that figure.
The striker has formed an impressive strike partnership with Macheda since the Italian arrived on loan, with all 3 of his league goals coming with Novak alongside him. Like Novak, Macheda will again be confident of adding to his tally, but it’s the former that will be key to this.
strength of Novak’s is ‘through balls’ and with Birmingham possessing statistically calculated style of play of ‘attempting through balls often’, the Englishman will be a creative influence in the match. From a goalscoring perspective, the summer signing from Huddersfield will be a useful attacking threat to the team.
Three of his five Championship goals this season have come on the road and with the Blues netting in 6 of their last 8 away games, Novak’s ability to find the back of net away from home will be imperative to the team securing all 3 points. With Watford winning just 1 of their last 6 matches in England’s second tier, morale is likely to be low in the Hornets camp, while Birmingham’s recent form suggests they have enough about them to pick up a win.
Novak’s ability in front of goal and growing partnership with Macheda will be pivotal to the team making it 7 points from a possible 9 tonight, with the duo more than capable of putting the Watford backline to the sword.
*This article is not the view of Birmingham City Football Club but WhoScored.com, a unique website specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editorial assistant @BenMcAleer1 on Twitter.