English Premiership

Leicester hope to capitalise on title rivals' mistakes

2016-03-04 11:36
Danny Drinkwater (Getty Images)

Watford - Following a week of contrasting emotions, surprise leaders Leicester City head for Watford on Saturday back in the driving seat in an extraordinary Premier League title race.

The disappointment of a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday was followed by the welcome bonus of seeing title rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester City all lose 24 hours later.

The upshot was that the Foxes, despite failing to take a host of chances to beat West Brom, will travel to Vicarage Road with their lead at the top of the table extended to three points.

"That's football," said Leicester winger Marc Albrighton, whose side edged Norwich City 1-0 last weekend with a late winner.

"I think in the last two games at home, we have had a massive amount of chances to win both games.

"It was late on against Norwich to get the win but on Tuesday we kept pushing to the end and that was important.

"We had chances with the last kick of the game but it just wasn't to be."

Albrighton's team-mate Danny Drinkwater, who netted against Albion, added: "Tuesday was a point in the right direction.

"We're slightly disappointed not to get the three points but I feel we have played well and we can take a lot of positives into Saturday.

"We broke a resilient side down twice. They scored two goals as well but we can take positives.

"There was a difference between that game and Norwich."

With eight wins and just two defeats on the road, Leicester will take the best away record in the Premier League to Watford.

The Hornets, meanwhile, have won five and lost five of their 14 home games so Leicester will feel confident of boosting their hopes of a fairytale title triumph.

Leicester beat Watford 2-1 at the King Power Stadium in November but the most memorable meeting between the clubs in recent years came in May 2013, when Watford triumphed 3-2 over two legs in a Championship play-off semi-final.

FIREPOWER

The Foxes recovered from that setback to win promotion to the Premier League a year later and now have their sights set on lifting the trophy in just their second season back in the top flight.

"It is going to be a really tough place to go," Albrighton said.

"Watford have showed what a good side they are this season.

"They have got some great players, some firepower up top, but we will be confident as ever.

"The season we have had is fantastic. We are not going to let a point at home dampen any confidence in the camp."

However, Sebastian Proedl believes Watford are capable of beating the league leaders this weekend and influencing the title race.

Quique Sanchez Flores' side were unfortunate to leave Old Trafford empty-handed this week after Juan Mata's late goal secured a narrow 1-0 victory for Manchester United.

And Watford defender Proedl said: "Every game at Vicarage Road so far this season has been tough for the opponent. So they should be warned. We want to get a result.

"They are big contenders for the title and it is a good opportunity for us to show how we have improved this season.

"Leicester could win the league. At the beginning everyone was surprised when they were top but no one is surprised any more."

The manner of defeat to United may have been frustrating but Proedl is convinced his side's performance demonstrated how far they have come this season.

"Maybe we can collect some points against Leicester that we missed against United," added the Austrian.

"The best games are when you challenge the best. It is why we are here in the Premier League, to compete against the best."

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
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