Watford vs Tottenham Preview: Classic Encounter, Form, Team News & More

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Saturday's match between Marco Silva's Watford and last season's runners-up Tottenham promises to be a close affair between the eighth and seventh placed teams in the Premier League.

The table and recent form of both sides point to a closely fought contest, especially with Watford finding a new gear under the tutelage of Silva.

On the other hand, Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs have been stuttering of late and sit on the verge of losing four consecutive away league games for the first time since January 2009.


The reading doesn't get much prettier for Spurs fans, as the side they face have also seen off two other London sides at home this season - downing Arsenal and West Ham at Vicarage Road.

Spurs seem to lack important momentum going into a very busy festive period of games, but have however managed to see off Watford in the sides last eight Premier League encounters - winning six with two draws.

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Classic Encounter

You have to go back all the way to January 1999 for the last time a Watford side scored more than one goal against Spurs.

The 1998/99 FA Cup threw up a goal fest in its early rounds and, with Spurs historically fancied as a cup side, they were certain of a win.


On this occasion that was the case, with the Lillywhites thumping the visitors 5-2 at White Hart Lane with two goals from Steffen Iversen and Darren Anderton, Allan Nielsen and Ruel Fox also netting.

The Hornets' goals came from Richard Johnson and Peter Kennedy, with the former's goal giving the away side a shock first minute lead.

But Spurs fought back to be 4-2 up at half-time and made sure they saw out the game in the second half.

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Spurs certainly aren't in their richest vein of form at the moment, with the side on the verge of a fourth away loss in a row for the first time since 2009 with only four points taken from their last five games, so boss Pochettino needs some important points on the board this weekend.

Having been beaten 2-1 by Leicester in midweek Spurs sit in a precarious position, falling too far off the top of the table before the halfway point of the season - already 16 points behind leaders Manchester City and eight points behind second place Manchester United.


Despite losing 4-2 to United, the Hornets had been on a positive run - beating West Ham and Newcastle - and seeing themselves in eighth place in the league table will put the club in jubilant mood.

But with Spurs on the rocks at the moment and Watford proving stubborn opposition for all sides in the league so far it will make a difficult contest for Tottenham.

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Team News

Watford are currently short on available options at the back, with Tommy Hoban (ACL), Craig Cathcart (knee) and Miguel Britos all on the sidelines, leaving the Hornets' backline stretched thin.

Midfielders Nathaniel Chalobah and Isaac Success are both out with knee injuries and unlikely to return for the game on Saturday.


For Spurs, the continued absence of defender Toby Alderweireld is causing plenty of issues, with such an influential and steadfast presence missing.

Midfielder Victor Wanyama (knee) is still sidelined but Harry Winks will return after missing the last game through illness.

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Watford Predicted Starting Lineups: Gomez, Mariappa, Prodl, Kabasele, Femenia, Doucoure, Cleverley, Zeegalaar, Hughes, Gray, Richarlison.

Tottenham Predicted Starting Lineup: Lloris, Dier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Aurier, Alli, Dembele, Rose, Son, Kane, Eriksen.

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On paper, the simple strength of the sides would point towards a Spurs victory, but with confidence low it will be difficult to triumph without some inspired performances from their top stars.

Unless someone like Christian Eriksen or Harry Kane steps up  on Saturday it could become a tough game, with a draw looking the likeliest of options for the visitors.

But Kane is a man who cannot stop scoring goals, and with such a presence up top it could prove crucial for stopping the rut from Pochettino's side.

Prediction: Watford 1-2 Tottenham