Leicester City vs Watford preview

May 8, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Leicester vs WatfordJust two weeks after Leicester almost ruined their play-off hopes with a 2-1 home defeat to Watford, the Foxes face the Hornets in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-finals.

Nigel Pearson’s side experienced all sorts of problems in the second part of the season after they largely impressed during the festive schedule, but they somehow managed to sneak into the play-offs.

Injury-time winner over Nottingham Forest on the final day of the regular season proved enough as Bolton failed to win their home game against Blackpool.

However, the Foxes still need another three very good performances in order to clinch promotion and it all starts from the Watford clash.

Despite losing both fixtures to their next opponents during regular season, Nigel Pearson’s men are hoping for a victory here, and they are 2.10 (11/10) with Stan James to create an advantage before the return leg.

Michael Keane and Harry Kane are both available as their loan deals run until June, while Sean St Ledger is back from a spell at Milwall.

Defender Richie de Laet and Paul Konchesky are both set to start after recovering from their respective ailments.

Probable starting line-up (4-4-2): Schmeichel – De Laet, Keane, Morgan, Konchesky – Knockaert, James, King, Dyer – Wood, Nugent.

Many agree that Watford have played the best football in the Championship this season, but Gianfranco Zola’s side eventually missed out on automatic promotion place.

Back to back victories over Blackburn and Leicester ensured they have a chance to pip Hull City to the second place on the final day of the season, but the Hornets missed a glorious chance to make it to the Premier League.

While Hull City could only muster a 2-2 draw with Cardiff, Watford were beaten at home by Leeds United, which mean they had to enter the play-offs.

Having beaten Leicester City twice already this season, the Hornets will fancy their chances of winning at King Power Staduim, with away win paying 3.75 (11/4) at Coral.

Important attacker Troy Deeney misses out through suspension, but both Manuel Almunia and Jonathan Bond are expected to be fit.

Probable starting line-up (3-5-2): Almunia – Doyley, Ekstrand, Cassetti – Anya, Abdi, Hogg, Chalobah, Pudil – Vydra, Geijo.

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