Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Watford will continue to stay right in pole position for automatic promotion with another vital win against Reading tonight.
The Hornets host Reading in what is shaping up to be another pivotal clash for both sides’ respective promotion hopes. The game represents a chance for Xisco Munoz’s side to pull further clear of the likes of Brentford and Swansea City and pile pressure on them ahead of their fixtures on Saturday. Another win here would be a major statement of intent from them.
Watford head into the game nine and ten points clear of third and fourth, although they have played one game more. That comes after their six-match winning run was brought to an end by Middlesbrough on Monday, with Neil Warnock’s side holding to them a 1-1 draw after falling behind at the Riverside. It was a game that will have reminded the Hornets there is still some work to do.
For Reading this is yet another massive game in their quest to ensure they finish off their impressive campaign and do manage to secure a play-off place they have held for some time. The Royals will be aware that Nottingham Forest were in the top-six for most of last term only to drop out on the final day of the campaign. They have to keep matching results of the likes of Barnsley and Bournemouth.
Reading got back to winning ways against Derby County on Monday with a much-needed 3-1 win. That result ended a run of four matches without a win in the Championship and means that the Royals are still sat in sixth place in the table a point clear of seventh-placed Bournemouth and also two and three points behind Barnsley and Swansea City above them.
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Making his latest round of predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton suggested that Watford would be able to get back to winning ways swiftly against Reading and he believes they will continue to establish themselves as firm promotion favourites. He thinks that the Hornets will just about be too strong for the Royals here, predicting a 2-1 success for them.
He wrote: “Watford’s run of wins came to an end on Monday, but they are still right in pole position for automatic promotion, and it’s fair to say Brentford and Swansea aren’t exactly applying the pressure!
“Reading got back to winning ways on Monday, and that was important for them considering how close the play-off battle is right now. They always fancy themselves against the big sides, but I think Watford will be just too strong for them.”
This will be another huge game for both of these sides and it is vital that both manage to keep picking up points for them to finish in the place in the table that they currently occupy. You can see why Prutton is suggesting that on current form the Hornets might well just about have too much for Reading in this meeting tonight, but it should be a nervy encounter for both.
Reading arguably need the result more than Watford do, with the Hornets having plenty of breathing room to drop a couple of points between now and the end of the campaign. However, the Royals have no such luxury and it must be all about them continuing to pick up results consistently if they are to make it into the top-six by the end of the season.
The Royals will know that they should they lose it would give a chance for the likes of Barnsley and Bournemouth to gain ground on them. Watford will therefore have to be wary and be at their best you feel to come away with all three points against a quality side who are aware that they have to keep performing and getting results.