Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday May 11 2013
WATFORD are just 90 minutes from Wembley as they play host to Leicester City the second leg of their play-off semi-final.
The Foxes lead Gianfranco Zola's men 1-0 on aggregate after David Nugent's 82nd minute header at the King Power Stadium on Thursday, but it's still on half-time in the tussle for a shot at the Premier League.
Zola's side will be boosted by the return of 19-goal striker Troy Deeney, who looks set to return to the side in place of either Alex Geijo or Matej Vydra following suspension.
Fellow frontman Fernando Forestieri could also be re-called after the Argentine was benched for the trip to the east Midlands earlier in the week.
After Vydra's confidence-sapping miss in the second-half, the diminutive striker could be preferred up front once more.
Deeney's return is undoubtedly key. The powerful striker will go toe-to-toe with the Foxes man mountain and captain, Wes Morgan.
Watford missed the physical presence of Deeney up front on Thursday evening and although the incoming Geijo showed some nice touches and good link-up play, the Spaniard is not the physical presence Deeney is.
Another question for Zola to ponder will be whether or not to include the fit-again Fitz Hall.
The experienced centre-half returned to action after a seven-game absence in the Midlands, but the back three of Lloyd Doyley, Joel Ekstrand and Marco Cassetti have looked good by and large - excluding the fateful trip to Peterborough.
For Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson, the big question is whether or not to continue with striker Jeffrey Schlupp at left-back.
The Ghanaian prospect was given a tough time by Hornet's right wing-back Ikechi Anya on Thursday and with former Liverpool man Paul Konchesky fit enough for a place on the bench, the temptation could be to bring the specialised left-back into the starting XI.
City boss Pearson is in bullish mood ahead of the second leg and told Leicester City's Official Site his aims for the return leg at the Vic:
"In terms of how we go about the next game now, we`ll try and win that one,' confirmed Pearson.
'Even before we started [the first leg], our approach was always going to be to try and win both games, because I think we are a better team when we are on the front foot playing positive football."
That positive football was rarely in evidence during the second-half of the first leg, but the Foxes were dominant for a healthy chunk of the first period and they will look to replicate the good start they made.
At the close of play on Friday (May 10), roughly 15 700 tickets had been sold for the decisive second leg, meaning there around 1800 tickets available at the time of writing (subject to change).
Watford: Almunia (c); Ekstrand, Hall, Cassetti; Anya, Abdi, Hogg, Chalobah, Pudil; Forestieri & Deeney.
Leicester City: Schmeichel; de Laet, Morgan (c), Keane, Schlupp; Dyer, King, James, Knockaert; Nugent & Wood.
Referee: Mr P Dowd.
TV: Sky Sports 1.
Date:Saturday May 11 2013
Pozzo Round-up: November (Sunday December 8 2013)
Zola bemoans crucial refereeing decisions at Leeds (Sunday December 8 2013)
Watford handed away tie in FA Cup (Sunday December 8 2013)
FA Cup: Watford ball No.40 in 3rd round draw (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Leeds v Watford (Saturday December 7 2013)
Hornets snatch late point at Elland Road (Saturday December 7 2013)
Starting XIs: Leeds United v Watford (Saturday December 7 2013)
Opposing View: Leeds United (Friday December 6 2013)
Preview: Leeds United (A) - December 7 (Thursday December 5 2013)
Opinion: Time to get behind the players (Thursday December 5 2013)
|Pozzo Round-up: November
» Watford : 08/12/2013 19:50:00
|Zola bemoans crucial refereeing decisions at Leeds
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|Saints and JayRod in FA Cup Clash!
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» Leeds Utd : 08/12/2013 18:00:00
|FA Cup 3rd Round
» Blackpool : 08/12/2013 16:45:00
|Blues At Home In FA Cup Third Round
» Birmingham : 08/12/2013 16:35:00
|Rovers handed giant killing proposition
» Blackburn : 08/12/2013 16:30:00