Watford v Leeds United: YEP jury FA Cup predictions

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United FA Cup fifth round tie at Watford.

Friday, 19th February 2016, 7:13 am
Updated Friday, 19th February 2016, 7:15 am
Watford's Odion Ighalo (left) and Troy Deeney.


Our fifth round FA Cup tie at Vicarage Road is pivotal as we move into the final part of the season.

Lose it and our season is finished and we will meander through to May reflecting upon another season of dashed hopes and missed opportunities.

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Watford's Odion Ighalo (left) and Troy Deeney.

Win it and we will have a quarter-final to look forward to in mid-March knowing one more win would get us to Wembley for a semi-final.

Logic suggests we will not be contemplating Wembley come five o’clock Saturday. Watford are mid-table in the Premier League and are in decent form, having lost just one of their last five and that only a narrow 1-0 defeat at in-form Spurs.

Everyone considers Watford an attacking, goalscoring side, with the likes of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo who have 24 between them this season, but few appreciate that only four other players have scored for Watford and each of them has only one!

The secret to stopping them is about containing those two front men. The reason they are well placed has more to do with a defence that has conceded 28 goals in 26 games; only four sides have conceded fewer.

Watford's Odion Ighalo (left) and Troy Deeney.

There is hope for Leeds; Watford only scraped through against Forest in round four and there is that peculiar thing whereby we often do well against supposedly better teams. We showed this on Monday when, for periods, we bossed Boro and were unfortunate not to nick it near the end.

We also have previous for spoiling their party. In 2013 Leeds went to Watford for the final game of the season when a Hornets’ win would have seen them promoted. That day all the luck went with Leeds as Watford lost their goalkeeper to injury, Deeney was sent off and replacement stopper, Jack Bonham, palmed Ross McCormack’s chip into his own net.

Leeds won 2-1 and Watford had to wait another season for promotion. Steve Evans has made much of wanting to bring Watford back to Elland Road for a replay in front of 30,000; I’d like to see that too and I think we can do it.

Prediction: Watford 1 Leeds United 1.


Monday’s improved performance against Middlesbrough was just the tonic this Leeds fan needed, and the protest against Massimo Cellino also showed that Leeds fans can be inventive when it comes to getting their points publicised.

Hopefully the message will get across to the owner too, but I’ll not dwell on the situation and move on to the FA Cup tie. Both managers may change things. Watford have a larger squad so the fringe players may get a chance to impress.

It’s still a big game with the sixth round as a prize so I may be wrong.

Steve Evans, as we know, has fewer options. With Chris Wood unfit, it may be the time to give Lee Erwin a start; Mirco Antenucci was disappointing against Middlesbrough and looked like a player wanting out of the club.

Mustapha Carayol is free to play again and could be used at the weekend. It depends if the head coach wants to change the shape of the team for this important game. Gaetano Berardi might also be back amongst the substitutes.

The cup sometimes throws up a surprise or two and just maybe this game could be one of them. Leeds, without doubt, will have to be on top form to get even a replay back at Elland Road. I think they will.

Prediction: Watford 1 Leeds United 1.


So we come to what could be United’s last meaningful game of the season and it’s only mid-February.

Worse still, lowly Leeds United are billed as the potential giant killers of the mighty Watford.

A fifth-round appearance is rare enough; this is only our second in a decade, but a quarter-final would be a collector’s item.

Not since 2003 have we appeared in the sixth round and then, just like the previous occasion in 1998, we lost to lower-league opposition.Now we are the lower league opposition you’d be a fool to predict a Leeds win. I think Watford will go through but we’ll all travel in hope just like all potential giant killers do.

Prediction: Watford 3 Leeds United 1.


It’s a totally different feeling in the FA Cup. I think we can come away from Watford with a win. We have nothing to lose; the lads can go with no fear and put up a really good display. Watford may make a few changes so it’s a perfect chance for us to sneak a win.

Prediction: Watford 1 Leeds United 2.


A trip to a Watford side making a decent fist of their return to the Premier League is neither easily winnable nor attractive enough to be a big day out.

However, with nothing else really to play for, this match has now taken on huge significance, and on the back of a decent performance against Middlesbrough on Monday night, hopes are high of further progress in the FA Cup. I have a sneaky feeling that this could be the year we have a decent run. And with another impressive following of 4,000+, and Watford not being known for their vociferous support, I am following the heart rather than the head and hoping that we will be in the sixth round draw come Sunday afternoon.

Prediction: Watford 1 Leeds United 2.


Tomorrow’s game will be a tough one as Watford have done very well under Quique Sanchez Flores and seem to score for fun.

The FA Cup is normally full of shocks and hopefully there will be one at Vicarage Road.

Prediction: Watford 3 Leeds United 1.