Cardiff City v Watford: the psychology and the predictions

Cardiff City are moderately placed in the home games league table

Home matches only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 13 0 1 49 11 38 39
2 Liverpool 13 11 2 0 35 7 28 35
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28
5 Tottenham Hotspur 13 9 0 4 24 12 12 27
6 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25
7 AFC Bournemouth 13 7 3 3 25 17 8 24
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 6 3 5 20 19 1 21
9 Everton 14 6 3 5 21 21 0 21
10 Watford 13 6 2 5 17 18 -1 20
11 Brighton and Hove Albion 13 5 4 4 16 15 1 19
12 West Ham United 13 5 3 5 18 19 -1 18
13 Cardiff City 13 5 2 6 15 23 -8 17

But they have lost more game at home than they have won, and their goal difference is particularly poor for a home team.

Watford away from home look more convincing and at this stage of the season that certainly can affect the psychology of the team.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26
5 Chelsea 13 7 1 5 19 20 -1 22
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Arsenal 13 5 3 5 25 26 -1 18
8 Leicester City 14 5 3 6 18 21 -3 18
9 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17

A positive goal difference (ok just +1 but still better than Cardiff at home) and a balance of wins and losses – four of each.

From the start of the year Cardiff have not had the best of times – there has of course been the terrible trauma of their attempted transfer which ended in a tragic plane crash – and on the pitch things have been difficult…

01 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-3
05 Jan 2019 Gillingham v Cardiff City FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City L 3-0
29 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Cardiff City L 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Cardiff City v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
09 Feb 2019 Southampton v Cardiff City W 1-2

Watford on the other hand have had a much better run

02 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Watford D 3-3
06 Jan 2019 Woking v Watford FAC W 0-2
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford W 1-2
19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Watford FAC W 0-2
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford L 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Watford D 0-0
09 Feb 2019 Watford v Everton W 1-0
15 Feb 2019 Queens Park Rangers v Watford FAC W 0-1

Only one defeat in this run since the start of the new year, and that against high-flying Tottenham – otherwise it is progress both in the league and the cup.

True, the FA Cup run might well disrupt their focus a little, now that they are in the sixth round, but it should be noted that they are very much in the habit of not losing.  Cardiff on the other hand have lost four league matches and won just two.

But those two wins were the last two games played by Cardiff, beating Bournemouth and Southampton.  That will help Cardiff’s morale.

I suspect the best Cardiff can expect is a draw, and that they will be happy with that.  Cardiff have lost their last two games against Watford (one in the Championship, one in the Premier League) and so a draw will be an improvement.

Overall Cardiff are still possibles for relegation, so every point they can get could help – and with Southampton away to Arsenal (who have a very strong home record) it could help them pull one further point away from the bottom three.

Home and away

Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Newcastle United 26 6 7 13 22 34 -12 25
17 Cardiff City 26 7 4 15 24 47 -23 25
18 Southampton 26 5 9 12 28 44 -16 24
19 Fulham 26 4 5 17 25 58 -33 17
20 Huddersfield Town 26 2 5 19 14 48 -34 11

I’ll go for a draw because of the boost of recent Cardiff results, but a decent Watford game could give them the victory by 1-2, as they must be feeling able to beat any team lower than them in the league.  The only thing that could disturb their psychology, is thoughts of the FA Cup.

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