Tottenham will travel to nearby Watford as they attempt to get their top four challenge back on track. A few weeks ago, this would have looked like a good fixture for the visitors, with the Hornets rooted to the bottom of the table. However, there has been a resurgence under Nigel Pearson since he was appointed as the third permanent manager of the season. They will be relishing the opportunity to continue their good form against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs.
Watford moved out of the relegation zone last weekend following their victory over Bournemouth. It was a crucial three points that saw them move above the Cherries, highlighting the value of Nigel Pearson. It was an appointment met with surprise, but it looks to have paid off at this stage. The Hornets are not out of the woods in terms of the relegation battle, as they are only one point above the bottom three, but there is now increased optimism that they can maintain their Premier League status.
Tottenham are languishing in 8th position, far away from their desired league position. They are currently nine points behind Chelsea, who are occupying the final Champions League position. A few weeks ago, it seemed that Spurs were closing in on the Blues, until they lost to their London rivals. Since then, a few disappointing results, partly caused by injuries and suspensions have seen them fall down the league. There remains hope that there will be improvement in 2020 following the appointment of Mourinho. This fixture looks to be a tricky one to negotiate, due to the improvement of Watford. Three points would be huge if they did manage to get a rare away win.
Only Liverpool and Manchester City have collected more points than Watford since the appointment of Nigel Pearson.
Tottenham have conceded at least once in their last 18 Premier League away matches.
The Watford attacker has been in inspired form since the appointment of Nigel Pearson. Ismaila Sarr is only 21 and looks to be a great long term investment for the Hornets. He now has three goals and two assists in the Premier League. In his last five games, he has only failed to have a goal involvement in one of them. There has been a lot of positivity about Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu, but it can be argued that Sarr has been the most impressive of the Watford attackers. Against Bournemouth, he wasn’t at his best, but he got an assist, in addition to making two key passes and completing three dribbles. Tottenham will be worried about the impact he could have on Saturday.
In the absence of Harry Kane, it will be expected that Son Heung-mun will pick up the slack. The South Korean was dangerous in the recent defeat to Liverpool, without managing to get on the score sheet. He had four shots during the match and looked to cause problems throughout with his movement. If Tottenham are to recover and qualify for the Champions League, it will be Son that scores the goals. Watford have been much better at the back during recent weeks, but the visitors still have the firepower to cause them problems. Son needs a big performance to announce himself back onto the Premier League stage following his silly red card against Chelsea. That could come against Watford.
Christian Kabasele is available following a ban, while Will Hughes and Kiko Femenia could be available.
Toby Alderweireld is likely to return to the starting eleven after being rested for the FA Cup replay. Gedson Fernandes could feature for his Premier League debut following his recent move to Tottenham. Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko remains out.
This is going to be an opportunity for Watford to get another statement result under Nigel Pearson. They have already beaten Manchester United and there is little to fear from the current Tottenham team. Their poor away defensive record is a worry and the recent improvement of the home side’s attack will give them confidence that they can get a result. They have every chance of getting something this weekend.
Watford 1-1 Tottenham