Date:Friday August 7 2009
The Football League season kicks off again this weekend and Doncaster Rovers travel to Vicarage Road to play Watford.
The Hornets finished last season with back to back victories against Coventry away and Derby County at home.
Watford had an average record in their final ten home games winning five out of the ten.
Watford were struggling near the foot of the table around Christmas but improved form in the second half of the season saw them finish thirteenth.
Rovers finished last season with an injury time defeat at Champions Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Their form on their travels prior to this had been quite good winning seven of their last ten away games in the League.
Rovers form over the second half of the season saw them rise from the bottom of the League to a respectable fourteenth in the final League table.
In the second half of the season Rovers were second only to Sheffield United in the overall form tables.
Opening day stats
Watford started last season with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.
It will be the first time they have started with an home game since the 2005/06 season when they lost 2-1 against Preston.
In the past ten seasons they have only started with two home League fixtures, the defeat by Preston and a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town in 2000.
Their record in the past ten years hasn`t been very good with only two victories, one draw and seven loses.
Doncaster got off to a flying start in their first year back in the Championship last season winning 1-0 at Derby County thanks to a goal from Lewis Guy.
In the past ten years Rovers have had five home and five away games on the opening weekend.
Rovers have a very good record in the past ten season losing only the once at Carlisle United in 2006.
They have won six, drawn three and lost one.
Men to watch
Watford - Tommy Smith
Smith continues to be the talisman for Watford and scored seventeen goals last season in fourty eight appearances, including Watford`s goal in this fixture.
Doncaster Rovers - Brian Stock
Stock returns fresh this season after recovering from back surgery, after having a back problem for most of last season.
After the departure of Richie Wellens a lot could depend on the form of Stock in the middle of the park.
This will be the eighth time the two clubs will meet at Vicarage Road with the home side winning four, Doncaster two and one draw in their previous encounters.
Rovers won on their first two visits to Watford in 1955 and 1960 both by the same scoreline 2-1.
When the two clubs met at Watford last season the points were shared in a 1-1 draw.
Tommy Smith gave the home side the lead before Rovers got their one and only glimpse of striker Steve Brooker who equalised within ten minutes of coming off the substitutes bench.
Previous encounters (League unless stated)
1954/55 Watford 1-2 Doncaster FA Cup
1959/60 Watford 1-2 Doncaster
1966/67 Watford 4-1 Doncaster
1975/76 Watford 2-1 Doncaster
1976/77 Watford 5-1 Doncaster
1977/78 Watford 6-0 Doncaster
2008/09 Watford 1-1 Doncaster
Betting (Best prices fromOddschecker)
Watford 100/1 William Hills
Doncaster 125/1 William Hills
Watford win 11-10
Doncaster win 3-1
First scorer (Selected players)
Graham (Watford) 6-1
Smith (Watford) 13-2
Heffernan (Doncaster) 17-2
Coppinger (Doncaster) 12-1
Harley (Watford) 25-1
Hird (Doncaster) 50-1
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Date:Friday August 7 2009
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