Match Preview: Watford vs Leeds United.

19/02/2016 19:55

Watford face Leeds United at Vicarage Road in the FA Cup this weekend, knowing that a victory will see them just one round away from a semi-final tie at Wembley.

The Hornets have already beaten the likes of Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest to progress to the 5th round of the competition for the first time in seven seasons and this weekend's game will be the first meeting between these two sides in the FA Cup.

Quique Sanchez Flores' men come into the fixture having recorded a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last Saturday in the Premier League, thanks to goals from Troy Deeney, which moved the Golden Boys up to 9th place in the table.

On the other hand, Steve Evans' Leeds United come into this weekend's game having won two of their last five games in all competitions and they currently sit in 16th place in the Championship.

Watford did the double over Leeds last season in the Championship, recording 4-1 and 3-2 victories over the Whites. The return fixture at Elland Road, which saw Watford run out 3-2 winners thanks to a late goal from Matej Vydra, proved to be especially crucial as it was at the start of a run which saw the Hornets win 10 of their last 14 games in the Championship, a run which would ultimately see them gain promotion to the Premier League.

Steve Evans is the latest manager to take over the reins at Elland Road under their demanding and controversial owner Massimo Cellino and he has overseen eight victories in his first 22 games in charge.

Since the former Rotherham and Crawley manager took over in October, he has also overseen eight draws and six defeats in what has been another disappointing season for the Yorkshire side.

The key player for the Whites tomorrow will be midfielder Lewis Cook. The young Whites midfielder has forged something of a reputation of being one of the highly rated young players outside the Premier League.

The midfielder, who has been capped at U19 level by England, has become an integral part of the current Leeds site and has made 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring once.

This weekend's FA Cup tie should prove to be an enthralling affair. Both sets of fans will be well up for the tie and Leed's will be hoping to pull off one of the shocks of the fifth round.

Quique Sanchez Flores has stated his desire to guide the Hornets to the final and the Golden Boys will have to put in a good performance against a Leeds side who will be firing on all cylinders.

Team News.

For Watford, Miguel Britos and Jose Manuel Jurado are both doubts for the Hornets due to injuries whilst Joel Ekstrand and Tommie Hoban are also out. Costel Pantilimon is set to start in goal.

For Leeds, top scorer Chris Wood is a major doubt whilst full-back Gaetano Berardi could make his first appearance since December.

Predicted team line-ups

Watford - Pantilimon (GK), Nyom, Cathcart, Prodl, Holebas, Anya, Watson, Suarez, Abdi, Amrabat, Deeney ©

Leeds - Silvestri (GK), Wooton, Bamba ©, Cooper, Taylor, Bridcutt, Diagouraga, Dallas, Cook, Doukara, Antenucci.

Referee - Michael Oliver.