, Mar 17, 2012
Ground: Vicarage Road Stadium , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 12,563
Bennett still missing for Hornets Dale Bennett remains out of contention for Watford's home encounter against second-bottom Coventry.
The defender suffered concussion in the Hornets' 1-1 draw at West Ham last Tuesday and duly missed the subsequent 2-1 victory at Derby.
Martin Taylor, who has taken his place on the bench for the last two games, got 90 minutes under his belt for the club's second string in midweek to step up his recovery from a broken toe.
The reserve-team clash also saw long-term absentee Stephen McGinn (knee) make his second appearance after his comeback although the midfielder remains some way off first-team action.
Midfielder Ross Jenkins (groin) and forward Gavin Massey (tooth infection) have returned to training, while in-form striker Britt Assombalonga, 19, has been recalled from his loan spell at non-league Braintree and may be handed a surprise inclusion on the bench.
Gary McSheffrey, Cody McDonald and David Bell are all struggling to be fit for Coventry, while Carl Baker is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Winger McSheffrey and striker McDonald both face a race against time to shrug off respective thigh and groin injuries ahead of the Vicarage Road encounter.
Bell has missed the last two games with a groin problem of his own and is approaching a return to full fitness, although whether that comes in time for Saturday remains to be seen.
Manager Andy Thorn will hope to have Bell available having lost fellow midfielder Baker for the foreseeable future with a hamstring injury sustained in last weekend's 1-1 draw against Birmingham.
Watford vs Coventry
Last modified 17:52 17/03/12
Murphy heroics ensures stalemate Joe Murphy produced a string of fine saves as relegation-threatened Coventry denied Watford all three points in a goalless draw at Vicarage Road.
John Eustace and Troy Deeney had the best of the chances but Murphy stood firm as Coventry's search for a first npower Championship away win of the season continues.
Andy Thorn's side went into the game on the back of 10 successive away defeats and made one change to last weekend's draw with Birmingham with Clive Platt replacing Cody McDonald in attack.
In contrast the Hornets were in good form on the back of two wins and a draw from their previous three games and handed a debut to 19-year-old Britt Assombalonga up front in place of Joe Garner.
The Sky Blues started the brighter of the two sides, adopting a direct game looking to play off the head of giant striker Platt but it was the home side who threatened first.
Experienced midfielder Eustace played a one-two with left-back Carl Dickinson on the left before delivering a cross to the back post where Sean Murray, looking for a fourth goal in his last five games, headed over unmarked from six yards.
The Hornets then went close with another header after 12 minutes.
Alex Kacaniklic swung the ball in from a right-wing corner onto the head of Assombalonga but the striker's glancing header drifted narrowly over Murphy's crossbar.
At the other end Nyron Nosworthy's mistake let in Platt but he was denied by Adrian Mariappa's tackle and from Gary McSheffrey's resulting corner, Nathan Cameron thought he had headed the visitors ahead only for referee Colin Webster to rule it out for a push at the near post.
McSheffrey was starting to look threatening down the Coventry right and ten minutes before the interval his cross picked out Platt whose powerful downward header forced Mariappa to clear off the line.
The game developed into a scrappy affair for the remainder of the opening period but both sides had opportunities to edge in front before the break.
Eustace, playing against his former team, squandered a great chance after 41 minutes when he sidefooted Lloyd Doyley's cross wide from six yards and Hornets keeper Tomasz Kuszczak had to be at his best to tip Gary Deegan's rasping right-foot effort around the post seconds before the whistle.
Sean Dyche's side came out firing after the restart and Eustace appeared to be determined to dent Coventry's survival chances as he latched onto Kacaniklic's ball into the box only for Martin Cranie to block his goalbound effort behind for a corner.
The hosts introduced Chris Iwelumo for Assombalonga with half an hour remaining and moments later Coventry keeper Murphy was forced into a fine save from Deeney's drilled strike from the edge of the area.
And Murphy was again called into action 15 minutes from time with two saves in quick succession. The Irishman firstly blocked another effort from Deeney at point-blank range before palming away Eustace's well-struck drive.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|18||Alex Kacaniklic(sub 79)|
|26||Britt Assombalonga(sub 60)|
|7||Mark Yeates(sub 79)|
|10||Chris Iwelumo(sub 60)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|26||Jordan Clarke(sub 84)|
|18||Alex Nimely(sub 71)|
|14||Cody McDonald(sub 71)|
|31||Cyrus Christie(sub 84)|