Sky Bet Championship 2023-24 – Watford vs Blackburn Tips, TV and Betting Preview

The Sky Bet Championship weekend concludes on Sunday afternoon when two sides who have made inconsistent beginnings to their season meet at Vicarage Road where Watford welcome Blackburn Rovers for the lunchtime kick off.

Both teams have identical records going into this one actually. Both won their opening game, drew their next one and then lost last week so each will be wanting to show some bouncebackability over the course of the day.

Where to watch

The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels. The build-up begins at 11.30am ahead of the 12 noon kick off.


When Watford were emphatic winners of their opening match against QPR there was a thought that they might do this year what they were meant to do last year and find themselves right at the top and in the promotion shake up throughout. This is a club where a bit of a malaise has set in though and as such they have flattered to deceive again, drawing their next game and losing the other, both without scoring a goal.

Valentin Ismael doesn’t seem like the sort of guy who will panic but the truth is he only needs another few weeks with inconsistent results like this and achieving anything at Vicarage Road will no longer be his problem. He needs to find a way for his side to be better in front of goal. They lost some big names in the summer which hasn’t helped them but had it not been for a patched up QPR defence being their opposition in the first game of the season things would have been even worse for Watford.

Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn opened up their season with a good home win against West Brom but since then they have floundered a touch, which isn’t a surprise to me because I expected them to struggle this season. To be fair to them, their displays haven’t been terrible, especially when you consider how light their squad looks, but they are struggling defensively. They usually start seasons well though and in the main have done that again.

The problem always comes at the end of the season when historically they fade away and with them struggling a bit for numbers in the attacking areas of the pitch, they really don’t need a slower start this season. This feels like a bit of a free hit away from home to a side who are expected to finish above them this season so the Blackburn youngsters can play with a bit of freedom here as they look to rebound from their defeat to Hull last week.

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Team News

Watford remain without Dan Gosling who probably isn’t going to play much anyway while Jamal Lewis is out with a thigh injury. There are doubts over the fitness of Jeremy Ngakia for the home side as well.

Blackburn Rovers will be without left-back Harry Pickering after he was sent off in the loss to Hull City last weekend. Jack Vale is expected to miss out through injury which certainly won’t help the forward options available to Jon Dahl Tomasson.


In truth, I don’t like either of these teams and the way they have started the season I certainly wouldn’t want to trust them to win the game with my dough on them. If you break the form down, Watford have beaten a QPR side who were patched up and potentially out of its depth and done little else since then. Blackburn had a good win over West Brom but will have been disappointed not to beat either Rotherham or Hull.

I’m leaving the match betting alone and heading straight for the side markets where it is the corners that I like in this one. The obvious statistic that jumps out when we go through the first three games for both sides is that Watford have won 20 corners in their two home matches, and in one of those they were 4-0 up at half time. Blackburn have only played one away match but they earned themselves nine corners. Blackburn get plenty of men forward in wide areas while Watford press high and try and go at unorganised defences and between the pair of them I expect to see more than 10.5 corners in this one.


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