Tottenham Hotspur FC
28th December 2015, 15:00 GMT
Vicarage Road, Watford
Watford welcome home another tough opponent following a 3-0 drubbing of Liverpool and a 2-2 draw at Chelsea. With 5 games undefeated, with they be able to go hold on for a sixth?
Watford this season have been in splendid form after being newly promoted to the premier league. Being level on points with Manchester United (29), they could look to take advantage of their good form and their peera s poor run to leap frog into 6th or higher depending on Crystal Palacea s result. With 8 victories and 5 each of draws and losses, Watford face a tough opponent back at home where their form has been poorer than away from home.
Tottenham brought to an end their impressive 15 game winning streak against the unpredictable Newcastle United. However since that loss, they have beaten both Southampton as well as Norwich in what can be called an impressive display of football. With a tight Christmas Schedule, Pochettino comes to this game with a dilemma of whether or not he should rest some key players who might be affected by fatigue.
Team tactics, Line-ups
For some of the Watford players, this game will be an important fixture as they will look to prove to their former employers that it was wrong to sell them. Quieque Flores will choose to play the same starting eleven as he did against Chelsea, with one change being in the left side of defence in the form of Nathan Ake.
Miguel Britos and Craig Cathcart will continue to be the chosen central defensive pairing. Allan Nyom will operate from the right side. Heurelho Gomes currently the joint best goalkeeper in the Premier League (8 clean Sheets) will look to ensure his team keeps another clean sheet.
Jose Manuel Jurado will operate on the left flank and look to cut in and shoot long range. His pace and trickery will test Walker to the fullest. Abdi the swiss national will operate from the right and look to get on the end of all set pieces. Ben Watson will be the chosen playmaker alongside former Tottenham defensive midfield Capoue whose recent exploits with his new sides will be a threat to Tottenhama s attacking players.
Deeny and Ighalo will be the chosen striker who have been in exceptional form for the Hornets. Their direct head on approach to goal will cause much problems for the center back pairing of Tottenham, after the latter player made a mockery of Liverpool defender Shako. Ighaloa s performance will be key as he stands second in the leaguea s top scorers list and tries to become the first Watford player to score in six continuous top flight games.
Predicted Line-up (4-4-2): Gomes; Ake, Britos, Cathcart, Nyom; Juardo, Watson, Capoue, Abdi; Deeny, Ighalo;
Mauricio Pochettino has a tough decision to make as he picks a line-up fit to defeat Watford as well as ensure all his performing players are well rested. With Na jie the only player out injured, Pochettino will be tempted to rest Christian Eriksen as well as Dele Alli who put up an exceptional show against Norwich.
The defensive five will have only on change, Davies will give way to the returning Danny Rose, while Walker will remain in place at the right side of defence. The center back pairing will also remain the same with the Belgian duo Vertonghen and Alderweireld to ensure another clean sheet from their side.
In the defensive mid field position, Dier is most likely to play the enforcer providing the necessary cover. The major change in the squad will be Diera s chosen partner. After picking up a knock and substituted as a precaution against Norwich, Dembele is the obvious choice (if fit) due to his recent performances. However, if he fails the late fitness test, then Tom Caroll is most likely to replace him in the position.
Ahead of them will be the three attacking midfielders led by Lamela on the left. With a brilliant performance against Norwich, Lamela will look to bear fruits from his performance by scoring a goal in the next game. Alongside him will be Son and Chadli who both made short appearances in the previous games. Alli and Eriksen given their much needed rest.
So who initially started off with a bang has been quiet since his return from injury and will be itching to get back to his scoring ways. Harry Kane as usual will continue as the lone striker after having scored two against Norwich. As the only available striking option, Kane will look to repeat his previous seasona s feat and catch up to top scorer Jamie Vardy who is just 4 goals ahead of him.
Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Caroll; Lamela, Son, Chadli; Kane.
- Watford have kept 6 clean sheets out of the 9 home games this season
- Tottenham are unbeaten in the last seven competitive games against Watford
- This will be the first time the two managers meet in the Premier League. The last time they met in La Liga, Pochettinoa team lost 4-0
- The last time Tottenham lost their last league game of the calendar year was in 2008
Player to Watch
Lamela has grown from strength to strength over the last few games. His confidence and work rate is there for all to see as he clasps the ball and confidently under his foot and tries eccentric moves such as the a rabonaa . Although one could argue that he could have grabbed a goal in the game against the Canaries, it cannot be denied that Lamela has now become an essential member of the team and will hugely benefit Tottenhama s cause.
Watford 2 a 4 Tottenham Hotspur
With both teams eager to score and affected by playing a game quite recently, the match will surely be a goal fest. However, with a stronger defense and the presence of a fantastic keeper such as Lloris, Spurs will have the upper hand and take away all three points.