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

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

Tottenham host Watford as the Premier League returns and they will be desperate for a convincing victory to turn the tide of negativity that has built. Back in August, this would have been viewed as a routine victory for the home side. However, nothing can be taken for granted now following a wretched start to the season that has seen the team humiliated on three occasions in three different competitions. They should be able to beat a Hornets’ side without a league victory this season, but it will be a nervy atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Doucoure has averaged 3 ball recoveries, 1.6 shots and 1.3 key passes per game this season. There is a feeling that more is to come from the highly-rated midfielder. If Watford are to take anything from the game, they will need their midfield star to dominate.

The last two fixtures that Tottenham have played have been very poor and verging on the embarrassing. Bayern Munich scored eight in the last match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Those that are promoters of the expected goals (xG) stat will suggest that good finishing was the reason for this, rather than poor Spurs’ defending. However, it did look like the home side had given up late in the second half and there was a lack of energy in the performance of every player in a white shirt. Supporters would have expected a reaction against Brighton, but a limp display followed. Questions are being asked of Mauricio Pochettino and the squad. They need to be answered on Saturday.

Watford have enjoyed a lot of success during their time in the Premier League and they have barely engaged with the relegation battle since their promotion. That looks set to change as they are currently bottom of the league without a win to their name. It could be that the squad has grown stale, with a number of players being on the wrong side of 30. Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr were brought in to provide energy to the forward line, but neither have managed settled yet. The performances have improved under Quique Sanchez Flores, but that means little unless the wins arrive soon. This could be seen as a good time to play Tottenham and the visitors should approach it with nothing to lose.

Team news

Paulo Gazzaniga will deputise for the injured Hugo Lloris, with the Argentine having an opportunity to show why he should be number one at the club. Lucas Moura and Dele Alli should both start after being left home by their national teams. Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min are doubts following the international break.

Etienne Capoue is a doubt to face his former club, while Troy Deeney remains a few weeks away from action. Isaac Success is also not expected to be available for the visitors.

Interesting stats

Tottenham have taken only 22 points from their last 20 Premier League matches, which highlights their problems in 2019.

Watford have failed to score in five of their eight Premier League matches this season. This is the most of any team in the division.

Key men

Kane

There has been a lot of discussion regarding Harry Kane’s form over the last 24 months, as he has battled with various injuries. There is no doubting that they have affected him, but he remains a world class player capable of scoring lots of goals at the highest level. Mauricio Pochettino would have been impressed by Kane’s contributions during England’s win over Bulgaria. Although the on field performance wasn’t the main story, the England captained scored and contributed three assists. It was his best all-around performance for some time and his club manager will be hoping for a similar level of display this weekend. In the Premier League, the striker has scored five times and he will be hoping to improve on his record against the bottom-placed club. If Tottenham are to reverse the recent trend, the performances of Kane will be integral.

Doucoure

The French midfielder is one of those at Watford that has been tipped for bigger things. However, he has yet to earn his big move and the recent struggles of Watford could work against him. That is why his performances in matches such as these are very important, as he has an opportunity to prove his quality against one of the leading teams in the division. He could go up against compatriot Tanguy Ndombele on Saturday, which will be an interesting battle to watch. Despite Tottenham’s struggles, the new midfield signing has been one of the better performers, with his passing and energy standing out.

Verdict

This is going to be a very interesting game to watch in relation to Tottenham’s season. They not only need a win, but a dominant performance to increase the confidence within the squad and in the stands. Pochettino’s team selection will inform us a lot about how he is currently viewing the players available to him. Dele Alli missed out on the recent England squad and looks a shadow of the player that he was when he burst onto the scene, while Christian Eriksen has been poor. The home side should have enough to win, but a similar showing to the one at Brighton and there may be a shock.
Tottenham 2-0 Watford