Having given a good account of themselves in the narrow defeat to Manchester United, Watford will fancy their chances of putting a dent into Leicester City’s title bid. The Foxes failed to beat West Brom in midweek, but that proved a point gained as all the other title rivals lost, and with Spurs and Arsenal squaring off at the Lane, they will see the Watford game as a perfect opportunity to get away from their rivals.
Watford are one of quite a few Premier League sides that have been exceeding expectations this term as the newly promoted team have managed to avoid the relegation tussle altogether. Manager Quique Sanchez Flores did well to build a good squad from players with plenty of top flight experience from other European leagues, with traditional 4-4-2 formation proving a good fit for the Hornets. And even though they recently slipped to the bottom half of the standings, their performances did not drop, and the team were quite unfortunate not to get anything from the Old Trafford clash in midweek having missed several very good chances. The only problem could be the fact that the likes of Ighalo and Deeney are low on confidence after a dry spell of late, with the Hornets failing to register a single goal in last two Premier League fixtures. Having seen how the Foxes struggled against defence-minded Norwich and West Brom, Quique Sanches Flores might be tempted to adopt a negative approach on Saturday, but he will probably stay true to his usual style of play.
The manager may decide to make some changes due to the hectic schedule, with Mario Suarez, Ikechi Anya and Nordin Amrabat hoping for recalls.
Meanwhile, Joel Ekstrand, Jose Jurado and Rene Gilmartin continue to miss out through injury, but at least there are no fresh worries.
Leicester City continue to show togetherness and fighting sprit that got them this far and we don’t think there are too many people prepared to bet against the Foxes going all the way. Claudio Ranieri’s charges recovered well from the narrow defeat to title rivals Arsenal even if they were made to work hard for the win against Norwich before they could only muster a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich at home. But, having came back from a goal down to take the lead and created plenty of chances after the Baggies made it 2-2, the manager admitted he was perfectly happy with his team’s display. Little did he know that the point would extend Leicester’s lead at the Premier League summit to three points with the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and Man City all losing in midweek. Seeing that the Citizens are now out of the title chase and that Arsenal and Spurs face each other in North London derby, the game at Vicarage Road could be the turning point, so there are no doubts that the Foxes will give their best to emerge victorious.
N’Golo Kante serves the second game of his two-match ban, with Andy King set to deputize again after impressing against West Brom.
There are no other worries for manager Claudio Ranieri, who looks set to field an unchanged side to that which played in midweek.
Key Factors to Consider
- Leicester won three of last five matches vs Watford (D1 L1)
- The Foxes recorded a 3-0 win on their last visit to Vicarage Road
- Both teams have scored in six of last eight meetings between the sides
- Odion Ighalo last scored a Premier League goal on 23 January
- Leicester won six of last nine away games in the Premiership (D1 L2)
Watford are playing well at the moment, but the goals are just not coming, and they could find it hard to match the motivation of title chasing Leicester City. The Foxes do not seem to be slowing down and we believe they can make another important step towards the Premier League trophy by winning at Vicarage Road.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 3/2