Premier League is back at the Vicarage Road as Watford host Leicester City in their opening game of the resumed season on Saturday.
Watford welcome Leicester on June 20 as they restart their fight for survival in the remaining nine games in the Premier League.
Aston Villa’s goalless draw against Sheffield earlier this week at home means that Watford are placed 17th in the table. Leicester City on the other side are third in the Premier League table with 53 points from 29 games. The Foxes will be looking forward to extending their lead to the third spot.
Here are five key head to head battles that could decide the fate of the match on Saturday:
Troy Deeney vs Jamie Vardy
Deeney has been in the news for his opinion on the restart of the Premier League and safety concerns of players. However, he is set to lead Watford’s attack on Saturday. Deeney hasn’t really fired for the Hornets so far in the Premier League. He has scored just six goals this season, which a worrying stat for a striker. However, the Englishman will be itching to get his mojo back after the lockdown and is very very important for Watford’s survival hopes.
Jamie Vardy joined the Foxes from Fleetwood eight years ago. He has played 26 games under Brendan Rodgers and has scored 19 goals in the Premier League. He is leading the frontline for the Foxes this season and Rodgers. He is also the top-scorer in the league and is important for Leicester to finish top four this season.
Abdoulaye Doucoure vs James Maddison
Doucoure is an undisputed starter under Pearson and is very likely to start the game against Leicester. The 27-year-old Malian midfielder joined the Hornets in 2016 and is spending his fifth season at Vicarage Road. He already has notched 4 goals and 2 assists in the Premier League this season.
James Maddison has featured in all games but one under Rodgers this season. He joined Leicester City in 2018. He has cemented his place in the starting lineup and will surely feature against Watford. The Norwich graduate has featured in all of their league games but one and will play a key role in Leicester’s title push next season. Maddison has scored six goals and three assists so far and will be looking to get back strongly on Saturday.
Etienne Capoue vs Wilfred Ndidi
The French midfielder Capoue has been a key figure in Pearson’s squad this season and his tireless attitude and brilliant work-rate make him the player to watch out for at Vicarage Road this Saturday. It will be interesting to see him faceoff against fellow number 6 Ndidi in the middle of the park.
Ndidi has probably been Leicester’s best midfielder under Brendan Rodgers and has really proven his worth, showcasing his passing, dribbling skills and putting in a great defensive display as well. He has been an integral part of the club since joining from Genk in 2017. A faceoff between the number 6s of both teams will be interesting to see.
Craig Cathcart vs Caglar Soyuncu
The 31-year-old Northern Irish defender Craig Cathcart joined the Hornets in 2010 and has been an important part of the squad ever since. The veteran defender’s defensive abilities will be key to stopping Leicester’s lethal attack. Watford desperately needs him on his toes throughout 90 mins if they want to stop Leicester and increase their chances of survival.
Caglar Soyuncu has been a regular starter for Leicester this season since the departure of Harry Maguire to Manchester United. The Turkish defender has really matured into an able and physically imposing defender and is adept at tackles and aerials. Due to his performances, he is labelled as the best defender in the league behind Virgil van Dijk. The defender will have to deal with the attacking threat of Vardy & co.
Ismaila Sarr vs Harvey Barnes
Ismaila Sarr joined Watford prior to this season from Rennes. He has started 13 games under Pearson and recently helped his side win against Liverpool by contributing in all their goals 9two goal sand one assist). He will the player to watch out for Rodgers’ defence in an important opening fixture.
The Foxes academy graduate, Harvey Barnes has been in top form this season on the left flank assisting Vardy during attacks. He has scored six times and assisted six others in 27 appearances. The English left-winger will be itching to get back on the pitch after a long three months and rearing to unleash his best traits against the Watford defence.