Tottenham host Watford in the Premier League with Mauricio Pochettino’s men looking to put the cup disappointments behind them and get back into their rhythm.
Mauricio Pochettino will want his side to end a disappointing last few days with a win when Tottenham host Watford in the Premier League. Spurs suffered two cup exits last week, first at the hands of Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, then to Crystal Palace, who knocked them out of the FA Cup.
Pochettino had been hoping to make it to at least one cup final and ensure his side had a genuine chance to win silverware from somewhere this season. However, his hopes have been dashed as Tottenham remain only in the Champions League and with a slim chance to make things happen in the Premier League this season.
Watford had a much better week as compared to Totenham as Javi Gracia’s side advanced in the FA Cup after winning their tie against Newcastle United. Goals from Isaac Success and Andre Gray saw the Magpies off, ensuring the Hornets made it to the next round and maintained their impressive form of late.
Gracia will be looking to keep a tight hold on seventh place that Watford currently occupy on the Premier League table. The visitors can take inspiration from their recent form as the side has lost only once in their last ten games with the only defeat coming at the hands of Chelsea.
Team News & Tactics
In the loss to Crystal Palace, Pochettino decided to rest many of his critical stars including Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and the returning Son Heung-min. Harry Kane’s absence has caused a lack of clear goals for the side, and this could be a concern; however, Son’s return could salvage something positive on that front.
Pochettino is expected to recall the likes of Eriksen and Alderweireld, although if he will likely leave Son on the bench for this one, with South Korean forward speaking about being fatigued lately. Dele Alli and Harry Kane remain, as is Ben Davies, meaning Danny Rose should have an extended run at left-back.
Apart from the aforementioned absentees and returning stars, Pochettino still has a steady squad to choose from. The Tottenham boss is likely to leave Fernando Llorente out, with the Spaniard struggling in both games since returning to the starting lineup. In his stead, Lucas Moura ought to lead the line as a False Nine.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Sissoko, Winks, Rose; Lamela, Moura, Eriksen
Javi Gracia made an astonishing eleven changes to his side that beat Newcastle in the FA Cup. Naturally, the manager will make many changes to the team to face Spurs. However, among those players coming back into the side, there won’t be a place for Abdoulaye Doucoure, who is out with a knee injury. The midfielder will likely feature at the weekend.
Apart from Doucoure, Javi Gracia does not have much concern as far as fitness issues are concerned and the Watford has an almost full strength squad to choose from. FA Cup goalscorers, Success and Gray, however, will have to contend with a place on the bench.
The likes of Daryl Janmaat and Jose Holebas are expected to form the full-back pairing, and support Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele, who will form the central defensive pairing. Gracia will likely go with a four-man midfield unit with the likes of Etienne Capoue, Ken Sema, Tom Cleverley and Roberto Pereyra lining up.
Gerard Deulofeu will support Troy Deeney further upfield as Watford look to trouble Tottenham’s defence.
Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Foster; Janmaat, Mariappa, Kabasele, Holebas; Sema, Cleverley, Capoue, Pereyra; Deulofeu; Deeney
- Tottenham are unbeaten in their last seven home games against Watford in all competitions.
- Watford could become the first side to do the league double over a ‘Big Six’ side from outside of those clubs since the 2015-16 campaign.
- Spurs have won their last 10 Premier League games on a Wednesday by an aggregate score of 26-3.
- Watford have played more Premier League games on Wednesday without ever winning than any other side in the competition.
- Tottenham have lost their last two home league games, last losing three in a row in September 2008.
Player to Watch
Harry Kane’s absence suddenly has adverse effects on this Tottenham side. Not only have the goals dried up, but Spurs are failing to threaten their opponents in attack. Fernando Llorente has been tried but to no avail, and apart from Son Hueng-min, if there is another player who could become the primary goalscoring threat, it would be Lucas Moura.
The Brazilian has gone off the radar of late after starting the season rather brightly. However, if there is a time Spurs need him to be back to his best, it is now. Moura is capable enough to take on Kane’s mantle and fix the goalscoring problem for his side. If Spurs are to sustain till Kane is back, they need players like Moura to step up and take charge.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Watford
On paper, it could be argued that Tottenham are the better side, although Watford have shown no signs of deflecting from their current vein of form. Spurs are clearly struggling, and although they have not suffered much in the Premier League, the two cup exits could come back to haunt them when they play Watford.
Javi Gracia’s side have shown the resilience to hold off any team this season, and they are well placed to take advantage of the struggles of this Spurs side by exploiting their problems. However, we do not expect Tottenham to lose this game, considering they still have a strong defence.
We do predict Watford to put up a good fight and snatch a point against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, becoming the first team to hold Tottenham to a draw in the Premier League this season.