Watford to overturn first-leg deficit against Leicester

12May 2013

England - The Championship


Leicester travel to Watford having earned a 1-0 lead in their Championship semi-final first-leg, but Jamie Dickenson is backing the Hornets to win this crucial  encounter having assessed Betfair's Sportsbook odds and markets with use of Opta stats...


Watford v Leicester City

Sunday, 12:30pm (Live on Sky Sports 2)


Leicester take a slender one-goal advantage to Vicarage Road for the second-leg of their Championship playoff semi-final against Watford.


Dave Nugent's headed winner at the King Power Stadium on Thursday night ensured the Foxes make the trip down to Hertfordshire the happier of the two teams, but Watford  are the favourites to win this second-leg on home soil. Gianfranco Zola's side have gone five games unbeaten against Leicester on their own patch, a statistic that  bodes well for their chances of making the final. However, the Hornets have been poor at home in general as of late, picking up just one victory from their last five  during the league campaign. Watford are boosted by the timely return from suspension of striker Troy Deeney, who was sent off against Leeds on their disappointing  final day of the season. But Deeney had scored five times in eight matches for Zola's side, and should start alongside 20-goal Czech Republic forward Matej Vydra.


Leicester were in poor form before beating Watford in the first-leg, and have struggled recently on the road having won only once in their last nine away games.  Ironically - given Nugent's goal that gave Nigel Pearson's side that 1-0 win - no side has conceded fewer headed goals in the Championship than Leicester. However,  Watford aren't a particularly set-piece based team and look to play the ball on the floor most of the time. Nugent's strike partner Chris Wood started brightly at the  club in front of goal when he joined in January, but the New Zealand international has just two goals in his last 14 appearances. Midfielder Anthony Knockaert could  provide the visitor's creative spark though, and the Frenchman has had a hand in four of Leicester's last five goals (three assists, one goal). Nugent's goal was his  first in his last 17 games for Leicester City in all competitions, ending a barren run stretching back to February 9.


Intriguingly, there have been two red cards in the last four meetings between the sides, one apiece. Indeed, Watford suffered six sending offs during the regular  season, more than any other side in the division. But the Hornets finished third in the league, and their anguish on the final day at not making automatic promotion is  a testament to the growing hopes Zola is bringing to Vicarage Road as manager. Home support will be a big help against Leicester, although the last time Watford  reached the play-offs, in 2008, they were knocked out at the semi-final stage by Hull, who incidentally snatched that second spot from Zola's team this campaign. But  destiny could come calling for the Hornets in their renewed bid for promotion this time around, as five of the last seven teams who have finished third in the regular  Championship season have been promoted via the play-offs (including Watford in 2006).


Watford recovered well from their Vicarage Road anguish last weekend and they may well reverse their fortunes with a home win priced at a juicy 2.25, although it looks like being a close encounter and perhaps siding with the hosts in the Draw No Bet market at 1.61 would be wiser.


Recommended Bets

Back Watford at 2.25

Back Watford in the Draw No Bet market at 1.61



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Keywords: Watford, Leicester, Championship, playoff

Source: Betfair

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