Leicester head into Saturday’s tie with Watford hunting for the three points that could potentially seal their play-off place.
The Foxes will be guaranteed a finishing place in the top six should they claim all the points tomorrow afternoon, providing Blackpool lose and Middlesbrough fail to win.
For visitors Watford the game represents a battle at the other end of the table, with Malky Mackay’s side desperately clawing for points of their own to avoid the drop.
The Hornets are currently just three points above the relegation zone with a game in hand over their closest rivals. A bright start to the campaign was followed by a dismal slide down the league table for Watford, who have won just one of their last seven league matches.
That victory arrived in their latest match against Plymouth at the weekend, Heidar Helguson’s solitary strike proving enough for all three points against the struggling Pilgrims.
Leicester gave their play-off hopes a much-needed boost with a hard-fought win at relegated Peterborough to put them within touching distance of another shot at the big time.
Matches between the two sides have generally provided goals, so an entertaining fixture could be on our hands at the Walkers tomorrow.
The reverse fixture at Vicarage Road earlier in the season was certainly a thrilling affair for the neutral as Watford battled to a 3-2 second half lead after trailing by two at half-time, before Dany N’Guessan stole the show to snatch a last-minute equaliser for Nigel Pearson’s side.
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson on the recent contribution of Steve Howard: ”It’s important that players have an impact when they come in to the side. It’s been a frustrating season for Steve in many ways but his attitude has been great throughout.
Now he’s had his chance, and he’s played pretty well and has also chipped in with three goals which is important.’
Watford manager Malky Mackay: ‘Leicester are flying high and Nigel has made some good acquisitions this year.
‘He’s got them in a position where they are promotion candidates. We’re aware of the task ahead of us and we need to have the same mentality and be resilient.
‘It’s never been an easy place to play but there’s a good atmosphere there with a good pitch and overall a nice stadium, so I think our guys will relish it.’
Leicester City Team News:
Lloyd Dyer is back in contention after recovering from an injury picked up against West Brom, and could start on the left for City.
Elsewhere Dany N’Guessan, James Vaughan and Nicky Adams are all pushing hard for first team action.
Player to watch: Paul Gallagher
Gallagher has relished the last third of the season for Leicester, a revitalised player in his more advanced role.
Leicester miss his creativity whenever he has not featured, undoubtedly the key aspect of his game. Two crosses for goals in his last two matches have kept him firmly in Nigel Pearson’s good books.
Watford Team News:
Watford welcome back on-loan Arsenal striker Henri Lansbury and Jon Harley, as both return from suspensions.
There are doubts over the fitness of Heidar Helguson however, scorer of two goals at Vicarage Road earlier in the season. The striker limped off in last weekend’s victory against Plymouth.
Player to watch: Henri Lansbury
Coming from Arsenal’s youth academy you’d expect something about him, and sure enough Lansbury has managed to hold down a regular starting berth at Vicarage Road this season.
Despite a fairly low tally of just four for the season, the striker’s pace is definitely a feature of his game to watch out for.
Match Facts & Stats
– Leicester have been beaten just once in their last eleven home matches.
– Watford have won only two of their last 17 league matches against City.
– Leicester have not won three matches in a row since October however.
– But Watford are winless in their last 14 away matches.
Watford will no doubt put up a tough fight as they fight to save themselves, but I think we have enough to win this one. Leicester 2-0 Watford.
Tuesday 20th April:
Watford: QPR (A)
Saturday 24th April:
Leicester: Preston (A)
Watford: Reading (H)