Competitive football is back and the Foxes travel to Vicarage Road on Saturday, reunited with a Mr Nigel Pearson. As part of the build-up, Watford fan Hannah Clarke has given her verdict on exactly what to expect from a Watford team that has struggled so far this year. Hannah is a journalist for HerFootballHub and a great writer so make sure you drop her a follow.
James Maddison in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. Credit: Getty Images
The first game back sees us welcome Leicester City to Vicarage Road in the 12.30pm kick off on Saturday 20 June.
We've suffered a mixed bag of results so far this season but really began to turn the tables when current head coach, Nigel Pearson, joined the team in December. As the season resumes, we are just escaping relegation at the moment sat in 17th, ahead of Bournemouth by just one goal. The battle at the bottom will have certainly sparked a fire within the team who surprisingly, were the ones to end Liverpool's unbeaten run in February, when we stung (pardon the pun) the runaway leaders 3-0, with Ismaila Sarr staring, finding the back of the net twice.
Although captain, Troy Deeney was dubious about getting back into training concerning the health of his family, he is back with the squad as is Adrian Mariappa, who tested positive for coronavirus in the first round of testing. We will be looking to hit the ground running, with the bottom of the table so tight, there will be no room for error. Pearson is likely to play a strong squad each game with the only real injury doubt being Gerard Deulofeu, the Spaniard is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior ligament in the match against Liverpool. In his place, I would expect to see Roberto Pererya as the chosen replacement on Saturday, with the ex-Juventus attacker having a mixed season so far.
Hannah's Predicted Line-Up
Last week, we announced that 37-year-old goalkeeper Ben Foster has had his contract extended for a further two years, which is a massive boost for us. In front of him, our back four is likely to be Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele in the middle with Adam Masina and Kiko Femenia on either side. The French duo and two of our better players this season, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue, will sit in the middle with Will Hughes making up the third position. One of our most exciting player, young Senegalese winger Ismaila Sarr is likely to be on the right-hand side, with Pererya on the left and Deeney in the number nine position. It seems wrong to write a build-up goal without mentioning 'that' goal, and Troy will certainly hope he can replicate the success, even if it is unlikely to be in quite as spectacular fashion!
We are going to be facing a tough battle in each of the remainding games and as a result, will be looking to make every game count. We have shown what we are capable of by beating the unbeatable and I do not expect that Nigel Pearson will have his players sitting back when we see the return of the Premier League. As the teams are sitting at opposite ends of the table, the neutral may expect an obvious Leicester win but I do believe we will benefit from having so much to play for and expect a good content come Saturday. I and many other Watford fans would probably take a draw, but fortune favours the brave and I'm therefore going for 2-1, a replica of last season's tie.
Do you agree with Hannah's assessment? Leave your score prediction in the comments below!