MX23RW : Monday, February 24 17:56:43| >> :600:3388263:3388263:
Jan 18, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Attendance: 21,366
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Preview: Watford vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Premier League encounter between Watford and Tottenham Hotspur.

Watford play host to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon sitting outside of the relegation zone for the first time since August.

Meanwhile, Spurs make the short trip to Vicarage Road having failed to win any of their last three fixtures in the top flight, leaving Jose Mourinho's team in eighth position in the standings.

Match preview

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho on December 26, 2019© Reuters

For the most part of Tuesday's win over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, Mourinho would have been pleased with the performance of his side, especially in the final third of the pitch.

However, gifting the Championship outfit a way back into the contest in the closing stages would have frustrated the Portuguese, who still has only one clean sheet to his name since replacing Mauricio Pochettino in October.

While supporters will be optimistic regarding the progression of Japhet Tanganga and Giovani Lo Celso, they will acknowledge that they will not earn a place in the Premier League's top four at the end of the campaign unless they improve in defence.

The meeting with Watford is followed by a home clash against Norwich City - one which Mourinho and his squad will be expected to win with relative ease.

However, with Manchester City lurking around the corner, Spurs are under pressure to build some momentum ahead of welcoming Pep Guardiola's team to North London.

As for the Hornets, they head into the contest having recorded three successive home wins in the Premier League, a run which has ultimately turned their season around after a dismal opening four months.

The manner of the 3-0 triumph at Bournemouth will also fill Nigel Pearson with confidence as the Hertfordshire-based outfit threaten to move clear of the dropzone.

That said, the newly-appointed boss now faces a different issue to what he probably expected upon his arrival as he bids to avoid any complacency creeping into the mentality of his squad.

That is the potential cost of the surprise swing in momentum, although there are enough strong characters behind the scenes at Vicarage Road to keep this in-form squad level-headed.

With this game taking place before the rest of the weekend's fixtures, Watford can move to the dizzy heights of 14th place with maximum points.

Watford Premier League form: LWDWWW
Watford form (all competitions): WDWWDW

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form: WLWDLL
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WDLDLW

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen pictured on January 14, 2020© Reuters

Despite having started the last two matches, Christian Eriksen could drop down to the substitutes' bench as speculation mounts regarding his future.

Recent arrival Gedson Fernandes is also likely to be among the replacements, but Son Heung-min should return to the team to feature in attack.

Eric Dier may partner Lo Celso in central midfield, with Harry Winks missing out, while Tanganga should get the nod over Serge Aurier at right-back.

While changes are expected to be made to the Spurs starting lineup, Pearson is unlikely to make any alterations to his Watford XI.

Abdoulaye Doucoure should come through a fitness test to play, although Christian Kabasele remains unavailable due to suspension.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Mariappa, Dawson, Cathcart, Masina; Chalobah, Capoue; Sarr, Doucoure, Deulofeu; Deeney

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Tanganga, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Dier, Lo Celso; Moura, Alli, Sessegnon; Son

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We say: Watford 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

A month ago, Spurs would have been the favourites to prevail in this fixture. However, times have changed, and it would arguably come as a surprise if Mourinho's men ended their winless streak. Watford have been excellent in recent weeks and given the extra rest period, they should be better prepared to claim victory.

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

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur
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A possessed Jose Mourinho during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on January 11, 202
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