Tottenham vs Watford Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

Tottenham vs Watford Preview | Team News, Stats & Key Men

This month is going to shape the league ahead of the run in, and both of these sides will want to have a strong February in order to achieve their aims this season. Tottenham are right in the midst of the title race and their consistency has been a breath of fresh air in a season filled with uncertainty at the top. Meanwhile, Watford are playing with little pressure and they try and finish as high as possible in the league. Many thought the Hertfordshire-based club would be fighting relegation, but they are 12 points clear of the bottom three, and it would take an incredible collapse for them to come close to being relegated.

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Spurs have been excellent this season, having only lost three times in the league, which is the second least in the division behind Leicester. This home match is a must win for Spurs, with their main rivals at the top, Manchester City and Leicester, playing each other. This means that at least one of them will drop points, which could allow Spurs to steal a march in the title race. They themselves play Manchester City next week and they will be hoping to go into that match on the back of a victory.

Watford have recovered from a poor run of results in the league to take four points from their last two matches. This will have been welcomed by Quique Sanchez-Flores as the side looked like they could be dragged into the relegation fight. Watford are likely to finish highest out of the three promoted clubs, which is a great achievement considering the club haven’t been a regular in the top flight for a number of years. They are establishing themselves at the right time, with the new television deal about to kick in.

In the match at Vicarage Road, Spurs took the points thanks to a late winner from Son Heung-Min, who added to an earlier goal from Erik Lamela. Meanwhile Odion Ighalo scored for the hosts in the first half. The last time these two sides met at White Hart Lane, the Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson incredibly scored a goal in a 3-1 home win.

Interesting Stats

  • Tottenham have only conceded five goals in their last eight games, highlighting how their strong defence is playing a huge role in their title push.
  • Watford have only scored more than one goal once in their last six matches, and that could continue against the best defence in the league.

Key Men

Kane

Harry Kane has put his name up there with the best strikers in Europe after proving himself for the second season in a row. He has a lot of work to do to maintain his reputation, but after succeeding for the second season in a row, he has shown himself to be more than a one season wonder. This season, his goals and leadership have played a huge part in Spurs’ impressive league position. Furthermore, he should be considered a key player for England ahead of Euro 2016, in which he could increase his reputation even more on the global stage. Spurs didn’t sign a new striker in January, which means that they will be relying on Kane and need him to stay fit for the rest of the campaign. If he does so, he should break the 20 goal mark once again in the league, which he will need to do if Spurs are to challenge for the title for the duration of the season. He scored twice in midweek against Norwich, and he has 15 in the league season overall. The England international has a chance of winning the golden boot and at the age of 22, his potential is huge.

Ighalo

The Watford striker also has a chance of winning the golden boot, although it would require tremendous form between now and the end of the campaign. He has scored 14 goals in his first season in the Premier League, which will alert clubs across Europe and Watford may find it difficult to keep their star man at the club. At the age of 26, he is entering the peak of his career and he may have ambitions of playing in the Champions League, especially after his incredible form this season. His movement in the final third has been a particular highlight in his game, and that will worry Spurs on Saturday, especially with Jan Vertonghen missing at the back. Watford will get few chances at White Hart Lane, but if they can get this man into scoring positions, he will score more often than not.

Team News

Dele Alli is a doubt with an illness that forced him off in the week. Ryan Mason is closing in on a return to action, while Jan Vertonghen is unlikely to return until March. Clinton N’Jie is also a month away from returning to the first team.

Miguel Britos is a doubt with illness, while Joel Ekstrand is still missing for Watford. Mario Suarez and Nordin Amrabat are both new signings at the club and could make their first league starts at White Hart Lane.

Verdict

It’s going to be an interesting game at White Hart Lane as Watford’s style of play is well equipped to playing the bigger sides. They can break with speed and with the strikers they possess, can win any game on their day. They were unlucky against Chelsea and will take a lot of confidence going to White Hart Lane. Spurs have continued to show their consistency in recent weeks, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli being particularly excellent in the final third. Spurs are being overlooked for their achievements this year due to Leicester’s success, but the North London club have been superb and have a real chance of winning the league. I think they’ll win this weekend and continue to put the pressure on Arsenal and Manchester City.

Tottenham 3-1 Watford