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Match Previews

Match Preview: Watford (H)

8 August 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview: Watford (H)

8 August 2023

Attention turns to The Carabao Cup first round for Stevenage as they welcome Valérien Ismaël’s Watford to The Lamex Stadium…

Boro’s 2023/24 campaign got off to a flying start on Saturday as Steve Evans’ men picked up a hard-fought victory against Northampton Town. It marked the club’s first win in League One for over nine years.

Focus now lies on the Carabao Cup as Championship side Watford come to town for a Hertfordshire derby. Stevenage are no strangers to knocking out second tier opponents at this stage of the competition, having overcome Reading last season thanks to goals from Saxon Earley and Danny Rose.

Opposition Lowdown

Not many EFL teams had a better curtain raiser than Watford this weekend as they currently sit top of the Championship after the first round of fixtures. The Hornets thrashed QPR 4-0 at Vicarage Road, with goals coming from Tom Dele-Bashiru, Imran Louza, Matheus Martins and Vakoun Bayo. After an eleventh-placed finish last year, Watford will be looking for improvements as they aim to return to the top-flight.

The Hornets have an impressive record in the first round of the Carabao Cup, having progressed to the second round in nineteen of the last twenty campaigns. They are two-time semi-finalists in the competition, losing out to Liverpool in 2004/05 and Nottingham Forest in 1978/79.

The dangerman for Watford is Moroccan midfielder Imran Louza. The twenty-four-year-old grabbed a goal and assist in his side’s victory over QPR on the weekend, which earned him the Man of the Match award and a place in the Championship Team of The Week. With his quick feet, accurate passing and an eye for a goal, he is certainly one to watch.

The Manager

Valérien Ismaël took over as Watford boss after the conclusion of last season and has had a full pre-season to implement his tactics and ideas. He has added tons of Championship experience to his squad with the signings of Tom Ince and Jake Livermore.

Ismaël has some Championship experience himself, having led Barnsley to the play-off places in the 2020/21 campaign before spending half a season at West Brom. From there he enjoyed a brief spell in charge of Besiktas before returning to England to manage the Hornets.


Charles Breakspear has been appointed as Match Referee for tonight’s game with Daniel Bonneywell and Adrian Tranter as his Assistants and Daniel Cook as Fourth Official. Breakspear’s most recent Stevenage match was the televised 0-0 draw with Leyton Orient last season.


Remember, a 2023/24 Season Ticket remains the best value way to watch Stevenage in Sky Bet League One this season. Get yours today at


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