Sunday, April 21, 2024

Prediction: Watford vs Leicester City

Prediction: Total Goals Under 3.5

Odds: 1/3

Bookmaker: Bet365

Watford and Leicester City make their respective returns to Premier League football as the two teams clash at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.

The relegation battle and fight for the UEFA Champions League places will both be on the agenda so there will be plenty of interest in this match with so much to play for.

Watford

Before the suspension of English football, it seemed to be one step forwards and two back for relegation threatened Watford. Having only lost one out of his first eight games in all competitions in charge at Vicarage Road, Nigel Pearson did appear to be masterminding a great escape from relegation. However, they have now lost five out of their last eight matches and despite inflicting Liverpool’s first defeat of the season as they swept Jurgen Klopp’s Reds aside 3-0, they followed that up with an underwhelming defeat to Crystal Palace. As a result, the Hornets head into the final nine matches of the campaign in 17th position, just outside of the relegation zone thanks to their superior goal difference. One aspect that will give them confidence coming into this game is their home form. Pearson’s men have only lost one out of their last eight matches on home soil, with that being the 3-2 defeat to Everton. They have also kept clean sheets in five of those games so if they can harness those attributes following the restart, they should have more than enough to survive in the top-flight.

Team News

The Hornets have quite a few players whose fitness is up in the air ahead of the club’s return to action. Adam Masina took a knock in a friendly game and is doubtful, whilst Will Hughes, Kiko Femenia, Craig Cathcart and Roberto Pereyra all have prblems that could keep them out. Elsewhere, one significant absentee is Gerard Deulofeu who is out with a serious knee injury and joins Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success on the sidelines, who are out with a knee and thigh problem respectively.

Leicester City

At completely the other end of the table, Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester will be desperate to rubber-stamp their return to the UEFA Champions League in the final portion of the season. The Foxes currently sit in third position, five points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and eight points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United so it would be fair to say they are in the driving seat. Rodgers’ troops did stumble just before the enforced break however, winning just four out of their last 13 league games. They had also not managed to win an away game since January, their worst such run on the road in a year. Despite that, the East-Midlanders did look back to their best just before the Premier League was halted as they dismantled relegation-threatened Aston Villa 4-0 at the King Power Stadium. Having only scored fewer goals than Manchester City and Liverpool, the Foxes will hope that they are as lethal upon the restart of the league and of course at Vicarage Road.

Team News

Despite intense speculation linking him with a move to Premier League rivals Chelsea, Ben Chilwell is still available for Leicester ahead of the trip to Watford. However, fellow full-back Ricardo Pereira will play no part in the rest of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury he suffered in the match against Aston Villa and joins Daniel Amartey on the sidelines. Midfielder Dennis Praet and forward Ayoze Perez are doubtful ahead of the game, too. In better news, Ryan Bennett and Harvey Barnes are fit to play having recovered from knocks.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Leicester City have the better all-time record ahead of the match (W30, D17, L21)
  • Watford have won 2-1 in each of the last three games between the two at Vicarage Road
  • There has only ever been one draw between these two sides in Premier League action
  • Jamie Vardy could score his 100th Premier League goal on Saturday, having scored in each of his last four matches against the Hornets
  • There has never been more than three goals scored in a Premier League match between the two sides

Conclusion

Whilst both sides do not actually come into this game in the greatest form, it remains to be seen how much that will actually play a part considering the three-month long hiatus that the league has had. On paper, Leicester should have enough to win but their record at Vicarage Road is not the greatest. The break could have given the Foxes a good opportunity to refresh though and they should notch a slender win at Vicarage Road.

Prediction: Total Goals Under 3.5

Odds: 1/3

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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