Watford vs Leicester – Premier League preview and team news

After an incredible round of midweek fixtures that saw them emerge as the big winners, Leicester City will be looking to ensure that they continue to remain ahead of the rest by taking all three points away to Watford.

The hosts have failed to score in six of their last eight Premier League outings, so will be intent on providing their supporters with more cheer in addition to being in a comfortable position. They had no shortage of chances to improve that record on Wednesday evening, but top scorer Odion Ighalo misfired and was made to pay as the Hornets fell to a narrow defeat at Manchester United, harsh on the balance of play.

But regardless of their struggles at one end, they are always difficult to break down at the other and that will provide the leaders with a real challenge. Manager Quique Flores often rotates his back four, but he can always rely on whoever he brings in to be solid and give little away, and here Watford will set up to be especially tight given that they come up against the threat of Jamie Vardy, who so loves to force centre-backs out of position and create space to exploit.

After failing to win at home to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, nobody associated with Leicester could have imagined that all three of their nearest challengers would all lose 24 hours later. It will have only increased belief that this may after all be their year, and they are showing no immediate signs of feeling under pressure. The performance against West Brom warranted a victory as they played some excellent football and continued to attack with menace right until the end, so even then they had every reason to feel positive.

In the build-up to the game there had been questions over how the Foxes would cope without the industry of midfielder N’Golo Kante, but the long-serving Andy King slotted in and proved as reliable as ever and got on the scoresheet with a beautifully taken goal. The battle in the centre of the park here will be hotly contested as the steady presence of the Welsh international and Danny Drinkwater takes on Etienne Capoue and Ben Watson, but the difference between the sides is that Leicester have more creativity.

Defender Craig Cathcart misses out for Watford, who are also unable to call upon Joel Ekstrand and Jose Manuel Jurado.

The away side hope to have Kante back available after he returned to training, so could leave Matt James as their only absentee.

Last Meeting (Premier League): The two sides finished level at Vicarage Road in February 2000 as a goal from Nordin Wooter earned Watford a point from a close game. The Dutchman’s glancing header levelled things up after Matt Elliott had opened the scoring, and Stan Collymore twice came close to winning it for Leicester late on.

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