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Preview: Leicester City vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Leicester City vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Watford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Leicester City will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they welcome Watford to the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Foxes have struggled to impress in the league this season, sitting down in 12th position in the table, just two points clear of 16th-placed Watford ahead of this weekend's contest between the two sides.

Match preview

Leicester were expected to again challenge for a top-four spot in the Premier League this season and that could still be the case, but there is no getting away from the fact that the Foxes have struggled for form this term.

Indeed, a record of four wins, three draws and five defeats from 12 matches has brought them 15 points, which is only good enough for 12th position heading into the next set of fixtures in England's top flight.

The FA Cup holders have not been victorious in the league since overcoming Brentford on October 24, picking up just a point from their last three games against Arsenal, Leeds United and Chelsea.

Brendan Rodgers's side did manage to pick up a huge three points in the Europa League on Thursday night, though, with a 3-1 success over Legia Warsaw moving them to the top of Group C.

Leicester now have three straight league games against Watford, Southampton and Aston Villa before a trip to Napoli in the Europa League, and they will be desperate to move closer to the European positions.

Watford, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a huge 4-1 victory over Manchester United last weekend, which led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing his job as head coach of the Red Devils.

Man United were hugely disappointing on the afternoon, but the Hornets deserve immense credit for their performance, with Joshua King, Ismaila Sarr, Joao Pedro and Emmanuel Dennis finding the back of the net in a brilliant result for the home team.

Claudio Ranieri's side moved onto 16th spot in the table with the three points, boasting a record of four wins, one draw and seven defeats from their 12 matches back at this level of football.

Watford are actually only three points off the top half of the table and will be desperate to put another victory on the board ahead of back-to-back home fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City.

The Hertfordshire outfit have not beaten Leicester away from home in the league since April 2013, though, and suffered a 2-0 defeat on their last trip to the King Power Stadium in December 2019.

Leicester City Premier League form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Leicester City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W

Watford Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Leicester will be missing Wesley Fofana, Youri Tielemans, Ricardo Pereira and James Justin this weekend through injury, but Jonny Evans is expected to feature despite concerns over a thigh problem.

The team is expected to be similar to the one that took to the field for the first whistle against Legia Warsaw on Thursday, but Marc Albrighton and Jamie Vardy could return in attack.

James Maddison was only a substitute in the defeat to Chelsea last weekend but impressed in the Europa League, and he is expected to retain his spot in the XI for the clash with the Hornets.

As for Watford, Ranieri revealed on Friday that both Sarr and Nicolas Nkoulou will be absent due to the injuries that they picked up in the win over Man United last weekend.

Christian Kabasele, Ken Sema, Francisco Sierralta, Kwadwo Baah and Peter Etebo will also be absent, but Juraj Kucka is back in contention, having served a one-game suspension against the Red Devils last time out.

William Troost-Ekong is expected to take Nkoulou's spot in the middle of the defence, while Sarr's absence will open the door for Juan Hernandez to feature in a wide area for the Hornets.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas; Soumare, Ndidi, Maddison; Albrighton, Vardy, Barnes

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Cathcart, Troost-Ekong, Masina; Dennis, Cleverley, Louza, Sissoko, Hernandez; King

We say: Leicester City 1-1 Watford

These are the type of matches that Leicester will need to win if they are to be challengers for a European spot this term, but Watford will be full of confidence after their excellent result against Man United, and we are backing the Hornets to secure a share of the spoils at the King Power Stadium.

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