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npower League

Championship Play-Off First Leg Preview: Watford v Hull City

The second Coca-Cola Championship Play-Off game takes place today as Watford meet Hull at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets were expected to bounce straight back to the Premier League following relegation last year, but a run of truly horrific form saw them almost miss out on the play-offs completely.

Hull on the other hand seemed to come from nowhere and only narrowly missed out on automatic promotion.

Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd:

Because of our form we are the underdogs. That is not mind games – that’s a fact. Hull are on a great run of form, they have a big squad, they have some quality players and they are favourites for this tie and Phil will know that.We have come a long way in a short space of time but we’ll only enjoy the play-offs if we win it.

We can draw on our experience from two years ago and will give it everything we have got. We want to come off the field having no regrets. That’s what we did two years ago and we can do that again.

It will be a pressure-cooker atmosphere but it’s time for calm and making sure the club is fully focussed on what needs to be done

Hull’s Henrik Pedersen:

Watford have struggled recently, but this is two completely separate games and they’ll go into them with a clean slate.They were one of the favourites to go up automatically at the start at the season, so they will be disappointed and feel as though they have something to prove.

From our point of view, I think we’ve put the disappointing performance at Ipswich last week behind us.

This season, we’ve shown the ability to bounce back whenever we’ve had a bad result.

Hopefully we can do that again.

A few facts…

Final League Position: Watford 6th, Hull City 3rd.

Last Time at Vicarage Road: 20th October 2007 – Watford 1 Hull City 0.

Top Goalscorer: Watford – Henderson (12), Hull City – Campbell (15).

My Prediction: Watford and Hull came fourth and third respectively in the play-off poll, and I think this one will be a draw. Watford 1 Hull City 1.

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