Match Preview: Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur

Match Preview: Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur

This is our third game in a week, we won one, drew one, and now I hope this game against Watford will put us back into winning ways.

After our unfair and biased draw against Southampton, we will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when we head to the Hornet’s nest this Saturday.

Confidence was high at Watford when the Hornets recorded an impressive 4-1 win over a terrible Manchester United side on November 20. That result led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing his job. After that, the Hornets collapsed and struggled, suffering five straight league defeats to Leicester City, Chelsea, Manchester City, Brentford and West Ham United… and now they face us.

Watford are now only two points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, who have two games in hand.

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Watford suffered a 1-0 loss to us. They’ve also not beaten us at Vicarage Road since January 2017.

We go into this game unbeaten in our seven league matches under Conte, recording four wins in the process. A total of 30 points from 17 games has left us in seventh position in the table, just five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal with two games in hand on them.

We also have two cup competitions to think about in January, taking on Chelsea in a two-legged EFL Cup affair on either side of a clash with Morecambe (but not Wise) in the FA Cup.

Watford Premier League form:

WLLLLL

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:

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Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):

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Team News

Watford

The Hornets remain without the services of several first-team players, with Peter Etebo, Ismaila Sarr, Christian Kabasele, Ben Foster, Kwadwo Baah, Nicolas N’Koulou, Danny Rose and Tom Cleverley all definitely out. At the same time, Kiko Femenia faces a fight to recover from a knock in time for the match. Juraj Kucka could start at right-back if Femenia is unavailable, while Joao Pedro, Imran Louza, and Ken Sema are all pushing to be involved in the starting XI.

Cucho Hernandez could drop out of the side in an attacking area, but Emmanuel Dennis and Joshua King are confident to start for the home side.

Tottenham

Through injury, Steven Bergwijn, Cristian Romero, and Ryan Sessegnon will all miss this weekend’s contest, but Giovani Lo Celso has returned to training. Lucas Moura could replace Dele Alli, while Oliver Skipp could replace Harry Winks in midfield.

I think Conte will use a  3-4-3 formation, with Kane and Son operating in attack, while Sergio Reguilon should feature at wing-back despite being substituted at the interval of the draw with the Saints.

My possible starting lineup:

Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Son, Kane, Lucas

Thoughts/ Prediction

Watford are in a mess and on a run of five consecutive humiliations.  However, and saying all that, they do carry a goal threat, as they have scored at least once in each of their last five defeats and took the lead in two of them.

At the other end, they have significant issues, conceding an average of three per match during that run, and I don’t see them keeping us out.

As for us; we couldn’t break down Southampton on Tuesday (even though we scored two outstanding goals against them, but disallowed); nevertheless, Watford just do not have that kind of discipline as Southampton.

When I was at Tottenham, one of my readers asked, “why do you always go for high results for us, never draws or  loses.” Good question… overoptimistic… blind faith? My friend Mel believes we will get a lot of goals in this match. The trouble is that a lot of predicting results are just luck; however, with Conte at the helm now, I see more wins than losses; nevertheless, I’ve curved my enthusiasm for this match and see what comes of it!

We’ve shown substantial development under Conte’s style, and I expect that to continue under his leadership.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

In the past 17 league meetings, Watford’s solitary victory came at Vicarage Road in September 2018 (D6, L10).

However, we are winless in three league visits to Watford since a 4-1 triumph on New Year’s Day 2017.

Watford

Watford can equal the top-flight club record of six consecutive defeats, which last occurred in 2019.

They are the only side yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet this season and are on a club top-flight record run of 27 successive matches without one.

Watford have had five managers, including caretakers, since their most recent Premier League clean sheet against Liverpool in February 2020.

They have won their opening league game of a calendar year just once in the past 10 attempts.

Emmanuel Dennis has scored six goals and provided four assists in his last eight Premier League appearances.

Claudio Ranieri suffered his first league defeat versus Spurs in his most recent match against them, with Fulham in January 2019 (W7, D4).

Tottenham Hotspur

 

Antonio Conte is the first manager for us to remain unbeaten in his first seven Premier League fixtures (W4, D3).

We have won only six of our past 22 away league matches, including one of their last six.

Son has scored five goals in his last six Premier League starts against Watford.

I got my ticket for tomorrow (Saturday); it came the same day as my Southampton ticket, the day after the Saints game. Today I got my ticket for the Chelsea away game; it came by special recorded delivery because of the holidays.

It now leaves me to say, that I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year… as for Tottenham… the same with trophies and a top-four place thrown in.

COYS!

Glenn

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