Championship Playoffs Preview: Brighton, Leicester, Watford and Crystal Palace Battle It Out

The first set of playoffs to determine who will be the third team promoted from the Championship to the Premier League kick off tomorrow with Leicester, Watford, Brighton and Crystal Palace all in contention.

We have one northern team, one team who have never graced the Premier League and one team to have featured in the end of season competition on four previous occasions. The fixtures for the 2012/13 Championship play-offs are as follows:

Thursday May 9
Leicester City vs Watford, 2:45pm ET (live on beIN SPORT)

Friday, May 10
Crystal Palace vs Brighton, 2:45pm ET (live on beIN SPORT)

Sunday, May 12
Watford vs Leicester City, 7:30am ET (live on beIN SPORT)

Monday, May 13
Brighton vs Crystal Palace, 2:45pm ET (live on beIN SPORT)

Monday, May 27, FINAL
TBD vs TBD

Head To Head

Leicester v Watford – The Hornets will go into the two-legged tie confident having narrowly missed out on automatic promotion and finishing the season 11 points above their rivals, however it’s Leicester City who have the upper hand in previous meetings of the two. The Foxes have recorded 22 wins from a total of 54 matches through history with 16 draws and 16 defeats. They will be looking for their first victory against their London counterparts in four attempts though having not beaten them since October 2011 and suffering 2-1 defeats in both outings this campaign. Both these sides have spent time in the Premier League during its current format, the Foxes have enjoyed eight seasons with the latest coming in 2003/04 while Watford have endured two single seasons with the elite in 1999/00 and 2006/07

Crystal Palace v Brighton – It will be hard to find an out and out favorite in this interesting match-up as both sides recorded 3-0 victories in their respective home fixture during this domestic season. The two sides have faced each other a total of 92 times in all competitions and have proved hard to separate with the Seagulls just edging proceedings with 36 victories to 33 while 23 draws have been fought out.

Interesting Facts

Leicester – Leicester City moved into their King Power stadium (then called the Walker’s Stadium) in 2002 and in the first ever competitive game recorded a 2-0 victory against Watford – their opponents in the play-offs – in front of a crowd of 31,022. Five years ago they were playing their football in League One along with fellow play-off hopefuls Brighton.

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