Watford FC vs Blackburn Rovers, Championship, 21st October 2020 KO: 1945 Ninety five minutes of life taken. Precious seconds in the span of many that will never be regained from the arrow of time. And just one moment of magic. But what a moment. It surely makes the greed filled heavy lidded eyes of those that dwell in the loftier reaches of the Premier League open that little more. We may as well be counting down the time when Joao Pedro moves onto another higher plane of footballing existence. Because he has that quality. Not just the goal but moments that preceded it. The simple confidence to pull off what would seem to others incredibly difficult, performed so perfunctorily that it seems second nature for him. A throwback to the time when the mention of the word Brazilian football conjured up images of shimmying hips, outrageous flicks and the desire to dribble through entire defences. Future star of the selecao: As for the rest of what was a dreary spectacle there were moments which showed brief flickers of attacking threat and worryingly a couple of moments of sheer lazy ineptitude. Partly because Derby were so ineffectual they like us could not score in a month of Sundays. Those lapses such as Captain Tom deciding to present the Rams with an almost empty net which Jason Knight must have missed deciding to pass and not shooting with Foster so far out of his area are inexcusable. And as for the attacking threat. The midfield while they huffed and puffed barely showed anything in the creativity department. Chalobah remains worryingly inconsistent and rather poor when compared against Knight. Quina remains frustrating and if he decides to keep his eyes glued to his feet rather than around him his career will derail with speed. His failure to spot Pedro unlike Rooney finding Holmes illustrates this. The only encouraging note in his efforts after being bundled off the ball several times was his willingness and sudden increase in strength to win a couple of vital challenges in the last forty five minutes. This he needs to repeat with more frequency. The main avenue of attack with Sarr missing was down the left. Kiko and Sema were the only effective combination on the night although Kiko's unwillingness to wrap his left foot around the ball when he has beaten his man would drive any sane coach mad. And it was encouraging to see Wilmot making strides forward while his defensive performance was much improved. Indeed his run forward allowed Pedro just that little moment of time and space to unleash his unerring projectile past a helpless Marshall. Kabasele and Troost-Ekong were barely troubled with the former in Rolls Royce mode shrugging off Rooney with ease and hitting the extra gear when needed sweeping up with ease. It certainly is not the area we need to be concerned about despite Troost-Ekong picking up a hamstring strain. The concern lies in midfield and upfront. Without a functioning midfield Pedro will have limited service to display his talents. Despite manfully chasing and pressing it must be frustrating for a player of his quality to see so little of the ball at his feet. It is hugely concerning to see how Derby bossed the opening minutes. And concerning enough for Ivic to state these slow starts concern him too. We need to be at it from the off and the returns of Hughes and Capoue will be a sea-change in the fortunes of our striking department. They will guarantee quality.Most welcome for the visit of Blackburn will be the return of Stipe Perica. With his hold up play and intelligence he would be a most excellent foil for Pedro. Sarr should be back as well in time to cause Amarii Bell a sleepless night ortwo. Their absence along with Will and Etienne led to a bench that was incredibly weak limiting Ivic's options to change the game should he need to. Stipe Perica. The return of a true target man is just what our anaemic attack needs: Given how matches went today it is imperative that we continue to win our matches at home and build our position in the top four. And also seeing as how some potential rivals have been weakened with the end of the domestic window. Rodon and Benrahma leaving this division while we retain Sarr and Hughes for instance can only be seen as a positive. As for Blackburn they were brought to earth today by a last gasp winner for Nottingham Forest who on the balance of play thoroughly deserved their win under new boss Chris Hughton. Veteran campaigner Tony Mowbray has used a consistent 4-3-3 formation this season with Adam Armstrong spearheading the attack with Ben Brereton and Tyrhys Dolan on his right. Bradley Johnson brings a wealth of experience and long range threat in the centre of midfield although creative force Lewis Holtby missed the game against Forest along with Joe Rothwell. Former Geordie Adam Armstrong is Rovers top scorer this season albeit three of those were against Wycombe: At the centre of defence Daniel Ayala has changed partners with Irishmen Derrick Williams and Darragh Lenihan with all three (although only two will play) are a threat at the set piece. Blackburn like all other EFL clubs are in tight circumstances with their biggest signing from Genk, Tomasz Kaminski being ever present for them in goal. After banging in five against relegation favourites Wycombe and four against a hapless Derby the goals have dried up with a goalless draw against Cardiff and the defeat to Forest. I expect Mowbray to stick with his plans tucking Brereton and Dolan into midfield for much of the time as we dictate possession and territory and hoping to sneak something on the break. Probable line up for the match on Wednesday assuming the injury situation does not change. ------------------------------------Foster------------------------------------------ -Ngakia-----Kabasele------------Cathcart--------------Wilmot------------Femenia---- ----------------------Chalobah-----------------Cleverly----------------------------- -------Sarr-------------------------Pedro-----------------------Sema----------------- Opposition forums: https://roversfans.com/index.php?forums/rovers-chat.2/ https://www.brfcs.com/mb/index.php?/forums/forum/4-football-messageboard/ Head To Head: https://www.11v11.com/teams/watford/tab/opposingTeams/opposition/Blackburn Rovers/ Things to do: How about learning more about our town ? And its environs through history as the town is undergoing such dramatic change at present. Several pertinent books below.