Watford vs Derby County preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Fourth-placed Watford will battle it out with 17th placed Derby County on Friday evening in the SkyBet Championship.

The Hornets head into this tie off the back of two impressive wins against Bristol City and Preston North End

The Rams are also on the up, having won five of their last six league games, most recently beating Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 in the week. 

Team news

Watford are missing a number of key players and will be without Ben Foster, Troy Deeney, Isaac Success, Christian Kabasele and Tom Dele-Bashiru as they are all still recovering from injuries. 

It is likely Munoz will name an unchanged starting XI after a very professional 1-0 away win against Preston on Tuesday. 

Nathaniel Chalobah currently has nine yellow cards and one more will mean he would face a two-game suspension. He is, therefore, the most likely Watford player who could be rotated. 

Wayne Rooney will still be without winger Tom Lawrence who is still not fully fit after suffering an ankle injury.

Centre-half, Matthew Clarke, came off just before half-time in midweek with an injury so it is likely George Edmundson will come in and make his full debut. 

Krystian Bielik and Curtis Davies are out for the foreseeable as they are both in rehabilitation with long-term ACL and Achilles injuries. 

Lee Buchanan could be put back in the starting XI after starting on the bench last time out against Wycombe.

Predicted lineups 

Watford:

Bachmann; Femenia, Sierralta, Cathcart, Masina; Cleverly, Chalobah; Sarr, Hughes, Sema; Pedro.

Munoz has mainly utilised a 4-2-3-1 formation since his arrival and he has found joy on the flanks with his wingers and full-backs staying as high and wide as possible.

Derby County:

Marshall; Mengi, Wisdom, Edmundson, Buchanan; Waghorn, Knight, Shinnie, Jozwiak; Gregory, Kazim-Richards.

Rooney has found success using the traditional 4-4-2 formation in his last two games. The arrival of Lee Gregory has meant Rooney can pair him with Colin Kazim-Richards as a front two and with Bielik out injured, Graeme Shinnie and Jason Knight have effectively patrolled the midfield. 

Ones to watch

Watford - Ismaila Sarr

22-year-old, Ismaila Sarr, has been outstanding for Watford so far this season. He has seven goals and four assists to his name and has started every Championship game so far for the Hornets.

Sarr plays on the right-wing and has been a nightmare for a lot of full-backs already this season. He is pacey and extremely direct. Once he taps the ball to go past a defender, not many have the guile and speed to recover. 

His first touch and close control also make it hard for defenders to dispossess him and he has created 28 chances for Watford so far this campaign. 

The Senegalese international is Watford's biggest threat and he definitely has the quality to play higher than the Championship. Sarr is the main driving force in the majority of Watford's attacks and the Rams will need to keep him quiet if they are to get anything from this game.

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Derby County - Colin Kazim-Richards

Kazim-Richards has lead the line for the majority of the season for Derby County. After a bit of a dismal start to the season, since Rooney has took charge, Kazim-Richards has come into his own. 

The Turkish international has hit six goals and notched one assist so far this campaign but he brings so much more to the Rams attacking threat. 

He has an excellent ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play as he uses his height and strength to his advantage. His technical ability in finding and executing a pass in the final third is also a real danger. 

The 34-year-old has found some good form of late, hitting the net three times in his last five outings - including a stunner against Middlesbrough last weekend. 

If Watford do not defend this man properly then he will have no issue in taking advantage and causing problems to the Hornets backline. 

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Previous meetings

Out of the last 11 meetings between these two sides, Watford have won four, Derby have won six and there has been one draw. 

The last time Derby beat Watford in the Championship was right back in 2014 when Jordan Ibe and Craig Bryson scored in a 2-1 victory. 

When these two played earlier on in the season, Watford came out victors, winning 1-0 thanks to a late wonder strike from 19-year-old Joao Pedro

Last time out:

Where to watch

This game kicks off at 19:45 BST on Friday 19 February 2021. 

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Football channels.

The game will not be broadcasted on either sides respected streaming platforms.

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