By 90Min
March 02, 2019

Leicester travel to Watford on Sunday in the Premier League in Brendan Rodgers' first game in charge of the Foxes.

Rodgers has joined Leicester following Claude Puel's sacking last week, having won every available domestic trophy in his two-and-a-half year spell at Celtic.

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

His first match will be against his former club Watford, who are having an outstanding season, with a seventh-placed finish still very much the aim for Javi Gracia's men. The Hornets will be looking to bounce back in this one from their 5-0 hammering at Liverpool in midweek - a result that followed a thrilling 5-1 win at Cardiff the week before.

Check out 90min's preview ahead of Sunday's encounter.


Where to Watch


When Is Kick Off? Sunday 3 March
What Time Is Kick Off? 12:00 (GMT)
Where Is It Played? Vicarage Road
TV Channel/Stream? Sky Sports Main Event & Premier League
Referee? Jonathan Moss

Team News


Watford are boosted by Jose Holebas' return from a suspension, but Kiko Femenia is a doubt due to a thigh problem, while Miguel Britos may miss out due to an illness. It's unlikely that Javi Gracia will feel the need to drastically change his side, despite the Anfield annihilation on Wednesday night.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

Brendan Rodgers meanwhile will be without Daniel Amartey due to an ankle injury, while a hamstring problem will keep Marc Albrighton out of Sunday's clash. 

The Foxes have had an extra days rest compared to their opponents this weekend, so Rodgers' first starting lineup may be an unchanged following their 2-1 win against Brighton at the King Power Stadium.


Predicted Lineups


Watford Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Pererya; Deulofeu, Deeney.
Leicester Schmeichel; Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell; Tielemans, Ndidi; Gray, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy.

Head to Head Record

Leicester have had the upper hand in head to head clashes between themselves and the Hornets, claiming 29 wins in 66 meetings, compared to Watford's 20 victories.

Recent history also doesn't make good reading for Watford fans, having only beaten Leicester twice in the past nine meetings between the two. However, both of those victories have come in the past two Premier League clashes at Vicarage Road.

LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Earlier in the campaign, it was the Foxes who took all three points at the King Power against their opponents in a 2-0 win. A Jamie Vardy penalty followed by a superb James Maddison volley was enough to sink the Hornets in December.


Recent Form

Watford currently sit five points ahead of Leicester in the Premier League, and not only do they have an FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace to look forward to, they are also battling Wolves to claim to be the best of the rest and finish seventh.

The Hornets are currently on a run of just two defeats in 12 games, those coming away at Liverpool and Tottenham. Their recent home record is also excellent, having only lost once at Vicarage Road to a team outside of the top six all season.

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Leicester's run of poor form of course led to Claude Puel being dismissed after 16 months in charge, following a run of no wins in seven games - including a humiliating defeat at Newport County in the FA Cup.

The home win against Brighton in the week eased growing fears that the club may have been dragged into the relegation mix. Brendan Rodgers will be keen to build a good run of form to challenge for a top half finish.

Here is how each team has performed in their last five matches.

Watford Leicester
Liverpool 5-0 Watford (27/2) Leicester 2-1 Brighton (26/2)
Cardiff 1-5 Watford (22/2) Leicester 1-4 Crystal Palace (23/2)
QPR 0-1 Watford (15/2) Tottenham 3-1 Leicester (10/2)
Watford 1-0 Everton (9/2) Leicester 0-1 Manchester United (3/2)
Brighton 0-0 Watford (2/2) Liverpool 1-1 Leicester (30/1)


Prediction

This is an extremely tough one to call. 

The form book would suggest that Watford should have enough to comfortably win this match. But Leicester fans will be desperate to see a new manager bounce following a disappointing campaign under Claude Puel.

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Rodgers, who will face a frosty return to Vicarage Road after leaving in controversial circumstances in 2009, has a totally different style of play to the Frenchman.

The former Liverpool boss will insist on playing a quick and short passing style with plenty of pressing, something which may take time to implement on this Leicester side. With Watford in fine form, and Leicester recovering from a difficult season, the Hornets should have too much for their opponents on Sunday.

Prediction: Watford 2-0 Leicester

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