Leeds United v Watford: Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Date: Saturday, Decmber 7 Venue: Elland Road Kick-Off: 15:00 Leeds will be looking for a win to keep up in the race for the play-offs, while last years losing finalists Watford are starting to fall behind and need a victory.

Team News

Leeds are without striker Dexter Blackstock, on-loan from Nottingham Forest, and defender Scott Wootton. Ross McCormack has shaken off a hip injury in time but Luke Varney provides an alternative. Sam Byram and Stephen Warnock are chasing recalls. Watford are boosted by the return of four players for their trip to Leeds as Ikechi Anya, Josh McEachran, Manuel Almunia and Gabriele Angella all return to the fold. Almen Abdi is close to a return but misses this game, with the Hornets also without Lloyd Doyley, Essaid Belkalem and Tommie Hoban.

Key Stats

Leeds have recorded five straight wins on the trot and will be hoping to make it six against Watford, who are coming to Elland Road looking to win their first win in eight matches. In this tie last year, the Hornets embarrassed their hosts by smashing six goals past them and coming away with a 6-1 victory. Striker Ross McCormack is on blistering form this season after already taking his season tally to 14 in the league. Watford haven't won away from home in the league for over two months, with their last win on the road coming on 5th October against Huddersfield.

Likely Line-Ups

Leeds United Kenny, Byram, Lees, Zaliukas, Pearce, Warnock, Murphy, Mowatt, Austin, Smith, McCormack Watford Almunia, Faraoni, Nosworthy, Cassetti, Elkstrand, Bellerin, McGugan, Thorne, Murray, Deeney

Match Preview

Leeds United currently sit in 7th place in the Championship and will be looking for their second consecutive win after they defeated Wigan Athletic 2-0 in midweek. They are currently two points behind Blackpool, who occupy sixth place and the final play-off spot. A win and a Blackpool loss will see Leeds move above them and they could potentially rise as far up as fourth. After losing last years play-off final Watford have been struggling. They haven't won in seven games and haven't won on the road for just over two months. Another loss could see them tumble to 14th but a win may see them rise to ninth. They currently find themselves seven points off the play-off places, any further slip-ups could really hurt their aims this season. Leeds are in fine form at home and welcome visitors that have been struggling. Watford picked up a spectacular result last year in this tie but it shouldn't be a similar afternoon for them. Prediction 3-1

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Josh has had work featured in the Evening Gazette and on Newcastle United website. He is a Multimedia Journalism student at Teesside University and runs a successful sports blog. He also enjoys films, comics and TV, writing about anything he can. Josh has recently started writing his first of what he hopes will be many books.