Watford - Leicester City

The Hornets made an impressive run of five league games without a defeat. Two draws against Blackpool (2-2 at home) and Swansea City (1-1 away), while they beat Nottingham Forest (4-2 away) and in last two round Barnsley at home and Plymouth Argyle on the road, 1-0 both. It seems the departure of some their key players (the biggest was their talisman and key striker Tommy Smith to Portsmouth) haven’t made any serious impact to team’s shape. Club’s board returned striker Heidar Helguson (who already was playing for the club 1999-05.) and brought three on-loan players from Premier League. Under the leadership of Malky Mackay (who btw. is living his debut in manager business) everything looks fine, so far. But, on the second view, it can be seen their mentioned run of good results have been made against the teams from bottom half of the table. And last two wins were against Barnsley and Plymouth, clubs that belong to group of main contenders for relegation. And the true is, Watford simply don’t have enough quality for top-half, especially their short bench is a problem in a long season like in Championship. So, I expect their drop sooner or later. Sooner more probably. However, mentioned Helguson and another loan, defender Craig Cathcart are included in the squad for the game. Skipper Jay DeMerit should also be available after missing the last two matches with a groin injury.

Leicester made an impressive start in their returning season in Championship and already announced a battle for a play-off spot. Only defeat in seven opening games came from the most expensive club in the league – Newcastle (0-1 on the road). Players gathered a large amount of self confidence, being absolutely dominant in League One last season and at start of recent campaign in second tier, and already managed to underestimate somebody. In previous round against Peterborough at Walkers, visitors were absolutely dominant in the first half and took a lead. Matty Fryatt equalized from penalty kick in second part, couple chances were created, but only 1-1 draw at the end. Pale display didn’t make serious impact to dressing room atmosphere and Foxes go to Vicarage Road, hunting down their first away win. I think their displays so far warranted another good game and their hope for good result against Hornets has a reliable coverage. Experienced defender Wayne Brown has a shoulder injury and will be assessed before the Foxes line-up is decided, while another defender, Bulgarian Aleksandar Tunchev, needed 10 stitches in a head wound but he is expected to be passed fit. The Foxes have won five and drawn three of their last nine games at Vicarage Road.

It seems Watford’s run of five unbeaten games impressed the bookmakers that offered more than decent odd against them. Watford have been playing over their real capabilities, haven’t faced any team from the league’s top (except Sheff.Utd., 0-2 defeat) so far and they’ll surely face a drop at the table very soon. On the other hand, Leicester are play-off favorites from the shadow and I expect very good games from them through the season and following Foxes with bets should bring a nice income. Away win today should be considered as a gamble. I suggested a safer option with covering a draw, but odds arround 2.05 for dnb 2 are still high.

Maybe one more shorter analyze later. Cheers.

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