Wolves v Watford preview

Stephen Hunt comes into contention for his first league start of the season on Friday night as struggling Wolves play host to promotion-chasing Watford.

Last Updated: 02/03/13 at 01:09

Stephen Hunt: Missed most of the season

Stephen Hunt: Missed most of the season

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The wideman has missed the majority of this season with a hip injury, only to suffer a lengthy chest infection upon his return to fitness.

Hunt has now recovered from the virus and is pressing his claims for a starting berth as Wolves aim to record their first win for under-pressure boss Dean Saunders and haul themselves out of the Championship relegation zone.

Youngster Matt Doherty made his first-ever league start for Wolves in last Sunday's 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff and should overcome the tight calf which forced him to be replaced by Kevin Foley in the latter stages.

Saunders started with a new-found 3-5-1-1 formation against the Bluebirds before reverting to their more familiar 4-4-2 at half-time when Wolves were losing, and it remains to be seen how he will line up against Watford as the club look to turn their fortunes around.

Foley, Stephen Ward, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Kevin Doyle and Dave Edwards are among those competing for recalls.

Watford have taken left-back Matthew Briggs from Fulham on a one-month loan but he will not be available in time to make his debut at Wolves on Friday night.

Elsewhere, first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is a doubt for the encounter at Molineux having been forced off at half-time in last weekend's 2-1 victory over Derby with a hamstring complaint.

Jonathan Bond stepped in at Vicarage Road and will start from the off should Almunia not recover in time from an injury which is not as bad as first feared.

Wing-back Daniel Pudil is fit having missed the last two games due to illness, but defenders Fitz Hall (hamstring), Tommie Hoban (ankle) and Neuton (back) all continue to miss out while John Eustace has suffered a recurrence of his back problem.

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Championship Fixtures

Saturday, 23 August 2014
12:15
Ipswich v Norwich
15:00
Blackburn v Bournemth
Brentford v Birmingham
Brighton v Bolton
Derby v Fulham
Huddersfld v Charlton
M'boro v Sheff Wed
Millwall v Rotherham
N Forest v Reading
Watford v Leeds

Sky Bet Championship

Position Team P GD PTS
1 N Forest 3 3 7
2 Cardiff 3 3 7
3 Millwall 3 3 7
4 Charlton 3 2 7
5 Bournemth 3 4 6
6 Norwich 3 4 6
7 Watford 3 2 6
8 M'boro 3 2 6
9 Wolves 3 1 6
10 Sheff Wed 3 1 5
11 Ipswich 3 0 4
12 Reading 3 0 4
13 Brentford 3 0 4
14 Derby 3 0 4
15 Blackburn 3 -1 4
16 Birmingham 3 -1 4
17 Brighton 3 0 3
18 Rotherham 3 -2 3
19 Leeds 3 -3 3
20 Huddersfld 3 -5 3
21 Wigan 3 -2 1
22 Bolton 3 -4 1
23 Fulham 3 -3 0
24 Blackpool 3 -4 0

Updated Thu, 21 Aug 2014

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