Leicester City vs. Watford
Venue: King Power Stadium
Kick off: 4pm
Two sides that will be hoping to secure a third straight Premier League victory go head to head at the King Power Stadium on Saturday (today) as Leicester City host Watford.
The Foxes are unbeaten in their last four, while Watford have turned around their form, with back-to-back wins, leaving them mid-table.
Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City side have been one of the surprise packages in the top flight so far this season, with their come-from-behind 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion leaving them third in the table – a point clear of Manchester United.
Leicester have lost just once in the league this season, slipping to a 5-2 loss to Arsenal in September.
The team have won three of their four fixtures since then, but were knocked out of the League Cup by Hull City on penalties last month.
The form of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy has certainly helped this weekend’s hosts, with the England international scoring in his last eight matches, making him the top scorer in the division, while Mahrez’s brace against the Baggies leaves him with seven goals in the league so far this season.
Leicester’s attacking has been among the best in the division, with the team scoring 23 goals in their 11 matches so far – only league leaders, Manchester City, have been more prolific in front of goal.
Defending has not been as solid for the Foxes though, having kept just one clean sheet this season, while conceding 19 times – the only six sides to have conceded more make up the bottom six in the table.
Leicester’s home form is also responsible for their lofty position in the table, with the team winning three of their five home fixtures so far, although they are also unbeaten away from home.
The team’s impressive run at the start of the season has inevitably resulted in the club’s in-form players being linked with a move away from the side in January, with Mahrez thought to be on Manchester United’s radar, while Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid are among a string of clubs being linked with Vardy, although Ranieri has insisted that both are happy at Leicester.
Watford made it back-to-back wins in the Premier League last weekend, with Odion Ighalo scoring either side of half time in a 2-0 win over West Ham United at Vicarage Road.
It is the second time this season that Watford have won two consecutive matches, which leave them 11th in the table heading into this match, level on points with Crystal Palace and Everton, who are only ahead on goal difference.
The form of Ighalo has been vital for the Hornets so far this season, particularly with captain Troy Deeney netting just once since helping the side secure promotion back to the top flight.
Ighalo now has seven goals in 11 appearances this season, including six in his last six appearances.
Aside from Ighalo, Quique Flores’s men have struggled to put the ball in the net, scoring just 10 times so far in the top flight, which is the second-lowest total in the division. Watford have had one of the strongest defences in the Premier League this season, conceding just 10 goals in their opening 11 fixtures.
Only the Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Spurs have let in fewer.
The Hornets actually have a slightly stronger record away from home this season, having been beaten just once in their five fixtures away from Vicarage Road.
Watford also find it easier to score when visiting other teams, scoring more than twice as often in their away matches.
The home side is likely to be boosted by the return of Christian Fuchs, who has been back in training after missing last week’s trip to The Hawthorns.
Top scorer, Jamie Vardy, should also be fine, despite limping through a blow to his heel towards the end of last week’s victory.
The striker has trained as normal, and has been included in Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad.
The only player that will miss the match for Leicester is Matty James as he remains sidelined with a knee ligament injury, but the manager has insisted that his recovery is on schedule.
Ighalo picked up a knock towards the end of the win over West Ham last weekend, although he is not expected to miss Saturday’s match, leaving Jose Jurado and Joel Ekstrand as the only real doubts for the visitors.
Leicester City possible starting lineup: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Schlupp, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Kante, Albrighton, King, Vardy.
Watford possible starting lineup: Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Ake, Watson, Capoue, Anya, Deeney, Abdi, Ighalo.