Leicester Preview - Away, April 17th
FOLLOWING their first win on a Saturday since beating Scunthorpe United at the Vic` back in November, Watford will look to grab back-to-back three point hauls as they head to 5th placed Leicester City.
The Foxes have enjoyed an immediately successful return to the Coca Cola Championship sitting in the higher climbs of the division for the majority of the season despite only returning to the second-tier this season after their brief sojourn in League One.
Top Scorers: Danny Graham - 33 Starts + 9 Sub Apps (10 Goals) and Heidar Helguson - 25 + 2 (10)
Form Guide: DLDDW
Last Time Out: Watford 1-0 Plymouth Argyle - The Hornet`s overcame their nerves to record a scrappy yet deserved victory at home to Paul Marriner`s virtually relegate Pilgrims. Heidar Helguson notched a scruffy second half winner following David Stockdale`s error between the sticks for the visitors.
Loach; Mariappa, DeMerit (c), Bennett, Hodson; McGinn, Jenkins (Taylor), Eustace, Cowie; Helguson (Henderson) and Graham (Hoskins).
Top Scores: Matty Fryatt - 26 Starts + 2 Sub Apps (11 Goals) and Martyn Waghorn - 25 + 15 (11)
Form Guide: LLLWW
Last Time Out: Peterborough 1-2 Leicester City - The visitors condemn Gary Johnson to defeat in his first outing as Posh boss thanks to goals from veteran forward Steve Howard and Andy King, Posh winger Tommy Rowe briefly leveled for the home side in the 63rd minute but King claimed the points just three minutes later.
Weale; Morrison, Hobbs, Brown, Berner; Gallagher (Adams), Wellens, Spearing (Oakley), King; Howard and Waghorn (Vaughan).
`Keepers: Current No.1 Chris Weale was poached on a free transfer from Bristol City over the Summer after last season was spent was loanees in goal, Tony Warner, Mark Bunn, Paul Henderson, David Martin and David Stockdale all took turns. A former Yeovil youth, Weale spent time on loan at his former club last season as well as Hereford United after making just 5 starts for Bristol City having joined the Robins on a free in 2006. Weale`s understudy is Irishman Congrad Logan who has spent several spells on loan away from the Walkers, most recently turning out for Stockport last season, as well at both Luton and Boston on two occasions apiece.
Full Backs: Full back was evidently one area that needed strengthening this season for manager Nigel Pearson who brought both Robbie Neilson and Ryan McGivern to the club over the Summer. Shaggy-haired right-back Neilson signed on a free from SPL outfit Hearts where he had been skipper whilst McGivern penned a season-long loan deal from Manchester City. Competition is provided by versatile former Cambridge defender Michael Morrison and former Blackburn left-full back, and Swiss Cap, Bruno Berner. Former Hornet`s defender Chris Powell has also made two appearances this season at the age of 40.
Centre-halves: Leicester recently added Alex Bruce, son of former Manchester United centre-back, now Sunderland manager, Steve, on loan from Roy Keane`s Ipswich Town to their centre-back ranks. The former Birmingham defender made 112 league starts for the Tractor Boys having previously spent time on-loan at Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham and Tranmere. Former Liverpool youngster Jack Hobbs has made 80 league starts since penning a loan deal last season which was made permanent this Summer following the promotion campaign. Hobbs started his career at Lincoln before Liverpool snapped him up following a tribunal; however the Portsmouth-born six footer made just one start for the club. Bulgarian international Aleksandr Tunchev has made just 20 league starts for the Midlanders since signing from CSKA Sofia in 2008 for 375k. Finally there is former Hornet, Wayne Brown, who has been with the Foxes for two seasons now having arrived on a free from Hull City two Summer`s ago. A converted left-back, former Ipswich man Brown has been a mainstay at the heart of the Foxe`s backline.
Wingers: If there is one area that the Foxes are weak, then perhaps it`s out in the wide areas. Nigel Pearson has recognized this recently adding former Newcastle United, Aston Villa and West Ham wide man, Nolberto 'Nobby` Solano and his trumpet to the squad. Having amassed over 300 league starts in his career the Peru international started his career with Argentinean giants, Boca Juniors. Former MK Dons and West Brom winger Lloyd Dyer has been impressive since his move from Stadium:MK in 2008 scoring 13 in 67 league starts. Former Blackburn trainee Paul Gallagher is also capable of playing wide-midfield and had done on numerous occasions this season whilst Frenchman Danny N`Guessan, signed on a free from Lincoln City, is also capable of playing down either flank or up top.
Central Midfielders: The Foxes have recently been hit by the loss of former Brum and Spurs man Stephen Clemence, son of legendary 'keeper Ray, following a long battle with a knee problem. In his place, promising Liverpool youngster Jay Spearing has been snared on loan for the remainder of the campaign following just one league start at Anfield. Youth product Andy King is enjoying another productive season in the middle of the park with 9 goals to his name and 18 in total since his breakthrough in 2007. Club captain and former Ram Matt Oakley has recently eclipsed the 100 starts mark for the club since he moved to Leicester for half a million from then Premier League Derby County. A cultured and intelligent passer of the ball the Peterborough-born midfielder also showed an eye for goal during spells at both Derby and Southampton. Rounding off the midfield options in £1m former Doncaster, Blackpool and Manchester United man Richie Wellens who arrived in the Summer following two years spent in Yorkshire. An attacking midfielder, the 30 year-old has yet to score for his new club.
Strikers: Nigel Pearson`s side are blessed with options up top, not least in the shape of former Walsall hotshot, Matty Fryatt. Signed for a seven figure sum way back in 2006, it was only last season that the 24 year-old truly took of with the Foxes. A whopping 32 goals, followed up with another 12 this campaign have made him the Foxes star man, and his nippy forward play in complemented well by big forward man, Steve Howard. Signed from Derby by Ian Holloway, the grizzly 34 year-old scored 17 in 65 for the Foxes Midland`s rivals before notching 24 in 76 to date at the Walkers. Frenchman Yann Kermorgant and James Vaughan (on-loan from Everton) make up the forward options and both are yet to score as a Fox.