MX23RW : Wednesday, November 25 07:32:02| >> :120:26223:26223:
Oct 19, 2019 at 3pm UK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Attendance: 58,754
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Alli (86')
FT(HT: 0-1)

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between out-of-form duo Tottenham Hotspur and Watford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Tottenham Hotspur will hope that the international break has provided an opportunity to move on from a dreadful run of form when they host Watford on Saturday afternoon.

Mauricio Pochettino's side have lost four of their last five games across all competitions but could barely have selected a better opponent to face when in need of a victory, with Watford still searching for their first win of the season.

Match preview

Forlorn Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino on October 5, 2019© Reuters

Often players and managers cannot wait for the next game to come around in the wake of a defeat in order for them to put that loss behind them, but even Pochettino admitted that the international break may have come at a good time for his side.

Tottenham's form heading into the break was nothing short of disastrous; a penalty-shootout defeat to League Two Colchester United appeared to be as bad as it could get for the Londoners, only for a complete capitulation against Bayern Munich and then another humbling at Brighton & Hove Albion to follow.

It is a damning sign that it is difficult to identify which has been the lowest point of that horrendous form - the EFL Cup upset, shipping seven at home to Bayern for the heaviest home defeat ever suffered by an English side in Europe or following that up by losing 3-0 to Brighton in a match where their misery was compounded by captain Hugo Lloris suffering a horrific arm injury.

The two-week break between games should give Spurs an opportunity to shake off some of the doom and gloom around the club, although the problems date further back than the last few weeks and seem to be much more deeply-rooted than just a string of chastening results.

Since the opening day of the season Spurs have only won twice across all competitions, losing to Newcastle United and throwing away two-goal leads against Arsenal and Olympiacos in that time, as well as the four defeats in their last five outings.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris lies injured on October 5, 2019© Reuters

Pochettino made it clear that he was not entirely satisfied with what happened during the transfer window, including but not limited to a number of wantaway players being kept at the club, and the problems even seem to pre-date their run to the Champions League final last season.

Perhaps the most alarming statistic is that Spurs - top-four finishers four years in a row - have lost more games across all competitions in 2019 (17) than any other Premier League team. The last calendar year they lost more games was 2008 (19), and on current form it is hard to see how they will avoid surpassing that tally.

A trip to Anfield is their next assignment in the Premier League after this weekend, although they will be grateful to have two seemingly winnable home fixtures against Watford and Red Star Belgrade in which to regain a semblance of good form prior to that match.

Indeed, if Spurs could have hand-picked an opponent during their current state then it may well have been a home game against a Watford side still looking for their first league victory of the season.

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores spots the camera on October 5, 2019© Reuters

Tottenham have won each of their last nine top-flight home games against Watford, including all six in the Premier League era, giving them their best such 100% home winning record against any club in the competition.

Home and away Watford have only ever won one of their 12 previous Premier League meetings with Spurs, while they have lost 16 consecutive Premier League away games against 'big six' opponents, during which time they have scored only nine goals while conceding 53.

The most recent of those was the 8-0 hammering they received at the hands of Manchester City last month, so the odds do not look good on Watford finally ending their wait for a league win this weekend.

On only three previous occasions have Watford endured a longer winless run at the start of a league campaign, and another defeat or draw on Saturday would leave them just one game short of equalling that unwanted record, set in a 2006-07 campaign which ended with them finishing bottom of the Premier League, 10 points from safety.

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores watches on on September 28, 2019© Reuters

In truth, even a draw would be a good result for the Hornets this weekend considering they have failed to score in any of their last three league games and have both the worst attack and second-worst defence in the league so far this season.

Away from home things also look bleak with just one goal and one point from their last five games in the league, and even considering Tottenham's poor form in 2019 they have maintained a decent home record with nine wins and only two defeats in their last 13.

It may be that the main glimmer of hope for Watford in this match comes through a coincidental quirk - Spurs have lost five of their last 33 Premier League meetings with sides starting the day bottom of the table, and all five of those defeats have come against teams beginning with the letter 'W'.

Spurs Premier League form: LDWLWL
Spurs form (all competitions): DLLWLL

Watford Premier League form: LDDLLD
Watford form (all competitions): DDLWLD

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur's new signing Ryan Sessegnon is presented before the match  on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Ryan Sessegnon's wait to make his Tottenham debut could be nearing an end after he returned to training during the international break, although Saturday's match may still come slightly too soon for him.

Giovani Lo Celso is also now back in training and could be in contention to feature in some capacity, but Lloris is out until next year following his wince-inducing injury against Brighton.

Michel Vorm has been re-signed by the club, although Paulo Gazzaniga is expected to be first choice in the captain's absence.

Other changes may be considered by Pochettino in the wake of such poor form, including a potential return to 3-5-2 which would allow Davinson Sanchez to come back into the fold.

Should the manager settle for slightly less radical alterations then the likes of Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura are still among the players pushing for recalls, although the selection could also be made with one eye on Tuesday's Champions League game.

There is a decision to make at right-back, meanwhile, where Serge Aurier is back available after suspension. Moussa Sissoko was chosen in that position against Brighton, while Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth are other alternatives.

Watford skipper Troy Deeney is still a week or so away from getting back onto the training pitch and so is not expected back into the first team until next month, while Isaac Success is also absent with a groin strain.

Etienne Capoue and Sebastian Prodl will undergo late fitness tests ahead of the match, and further forward Gerard Deulofeu will be hopeful of a recall to the starting lineup.

Tottenham possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Ndombele, Winks; Lucas, Alli, Son; Kane

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Janmaat, Cathcart, Prodl, Kabasele, Holebas; Cleverley, Doucoure, Capoue; Deulofeu, Welbeck

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We say: Tottenham 3-0 Watford

Something has to give in this battle between two drastically out of form teams. For all of Tottenham's troubles this year, their home league form has generally stayed quite steady and that could give them a significant edge in this match. Watford have not always been as bad as their points tally suggests so far this season, but they may have to stomach another defeat against a Spurs side sure to be demanding a response.


Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Tottenham and Watford?

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Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino prowls the touchline on September 28, 2019
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs96212191220
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
7Aston Villa85031911815
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves9423910-114
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
11Crystal Palace94141213-113
13Manchester CityMan City83321011-112
14Leeds UnitedLeeds93241417-311
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle93241015-511
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton92341315-29
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9036618-123
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd9018415-111

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