Two sides with nothing but pride on the line meet at Vicarage Road in Sunday’s Premier League contest, as Watford play host to Leicester City.
The relegated hosts managed to hold Everton to a goalless draw in midweek, while the resurgent Foxes stormed to a 3-0 win over Norwich City.
Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince did not hold back when speaking of Rob Edwards’ recent departure, with the 39-year-old set to take over at Watford for their next stint in the Championship in 2022-23 after guiding his former club to the League Two title.
For the time being, Roy Hodgson only has 180 minutes left in the Vicarage Road hotseat after trying and failing to keep the Hornets afloat in the division, but they did restore some sense of pride by ending a shocking run of home defeats against Everton in midweek.
Watford had Ben Foster and his five saves to thank for their efforts in that 0-0 draw with the Toffees, who could still be joining them in the second tier next season, and Hodgson’s side cannot get through the next two fixtures with Leicester and Chelsea quickly enough.
By taking a point from their meeting with Everton, Watford have at least moved two points clear of basement side Norwich City in 19th spot and will hope to achieve the small silver lining of not finishing rock bottom of the division as they prepare for another swift demotion.
However, the hosts’ tally of eight points from 18 home games this season means that they are the only side in the division yet to break the double-figure mark on their own turf, and not since November’s humbling of Manchester United have they won in front of their own fans.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges fans after the match on April 10, 2022© Reuters
With success in the Europa Conference League now a distant fantasy and a spot in the continental places of the Premier League table not up for grabs, the final whistle cannot blow soon enough for Brendan Rodgers’s Leicester City either.
The Foxes brought a seven-game winless run in all competitions into their midweek meeting with Norwich – as well as a streak of three defeats – but Jamie Vardy’s brace coupled with James Maddison’s sweet strike against his former club saw Leicester on their way to a comfortable victory.
Just about clinging onto a top-half place as they lie 10th in the rankings – one place and one point better off than Crystal Palace – Leicester must still travel to Chelsea and host Southampton before the season is over, and news of a reported summer rebuild will be music to the ears of the King Power faithful.
Having ended a recent home rut last time out, Rodgers will now be tasked with securing Leicester’s first Premier League victory away from home since the beginning of March, and a meagre tally of one win from 12 on the road in the top flight has done their European bid no favours whatsoever.
Leicester have already put eight goals past Watford in two meetings this season – winning 4-2 in the league before a dominant 4-1 success in the FA Cup back in January – but it has been six years since the Foxes last came away from Vicarage Road with all three points in the bag.