The first match of the 2012-13 Championship playoffs kicks off today with Leicester City hosting Watford in the first leg. The Hornets, managed by Gianfranco Zola, will want to forget about their horrific day against Leeds United last Saturday where they threw away a golden opportunity to be promoted to the Premier League. Now Watford has to do it all over again, this time against a Leicester City side that are managed by Nigel Pearson.
First leg semi-finals can be a rather testy affair, so I’m not expecting a flurry of goals to come in. But having said that, Leicester will want to make the most of their home-field advantage in front of their own supporters.
The winner of the semi-final, over two legs, will play in the Championship playoff final at Wembley later this month. The victor of that game will then be promoted to the Premier League.
Leicester starting XI: Schmeichel; De Laet, Morgan (c), Keane, Schlupp; Knockaert, James, King, Dyer; Wood, Nugent
Watford starting XI: Almunia (GK) (c); Doyley, Ekstrand, Cassetti; Anya, Abdi, Chalobah, Hogg, Pudil; Geijo, Vydra.
For viewers in the United States, the match is being shown live on beIN SPORT.
Join the conversation with fellow soccer fans from around the world in the comments section below before, during and after the match.