MX23RW : Monday, June 21 07:47:19| >> :600:172709:172709:
Nov 4, 2020 at 7pm UK at Vicarage Road
WatfordWatford
3-2
StokeStoke City
Cleverley (28'), Pedro (61' pen.), Sarr (90+2')
Chalobah (56'), Capoue (90+4')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Fletcher (2'), Powell (81')
Gunn (61'), Obi Mikel (79')

Preview: Watford vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship fixture between Watford and Stoke City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Watford play host to Stoke City on Wednesday evening with just goal difference separating the two clubs in the Championship standings.

While the Hornets are without success in three games, the Potters have recorded three wins from their last five fixtures.


Match preview

New Watford boss Vladimir Ivic on September 11, 2020© Reuters

When Watford were picking up points on a regular basis during the opening weeks of the season, head coach Vladimir Ivic was in a position where he could justify a style of play which was not necessarily easy on the eye.

However, a return of two points and two goals from the last three matches has put pressure on the Serbian to make adjustments, particularly with the strongest squad in the division at his disposal.

Remaining in sixth position with just five goals being conceded, some context is required when criticising the Hornets, but their supporters will expect much more as the season progresses.

Ivic has already used 24 players in the second tier this season, a consequence of injuries and the failure to offload a number of high-earning players during the coronavirus pandemic.

Although seven of the squad have featured in at least eight of their nine Championship games, Ivic needs to decide whether other members of his group are committed to the cause in the long term or only until the re-opening of the transfer window.

At a time when Watford were among the early pacesetters, Stoke found themselves at the wrong end of the table after making some shrewd additions.

That only proved to be a temporary issue, however, with the Potters collecting 11 points from their last half-a-dozen fixtures.

Goals remain an issue for the Staffordshire outfit with no player scoring more than twice in the league since the beginning of the season.

Nevertheless, O'Neill will take the positives from five of the club's seven victories in all competitions coming by a 1-0 scoreline, the latest one being recorded against Rotherham United at the weekend.

Watford Championship form: LWWDDL

Stoke City Championship form: DWDWLW


Team News

Watford captain Troy Deeney reacts as his side are relegated on July 26, 2020© Reuters

While Ivic has revealed that Troy Deeney will return to the squad at some point this week, the club captain is unlikely to start this game.

However, Andre Gray may be handed an appearance in the Watford XI alongside Christian Kabasele, who was only named as a substitute at the weekend.

As for Stoke, O'Neill could potentially revert back to his tried-and-trusted three-man defence, a move which would see Morgan Fox used on the left-hand side.

Jacob Brown may be preferred to Tyrese Campbell in attack, with James McClean keeping his place after his winning goal against Rotherham.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Troost-Ekong, Kabasele, Wilmot; Femenia, Capoue, Cleverley, Sema; Pedro, Sarr; Gray

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Batth, Souttar, Fox; Smith, Thompson, Mikel, McClean; Powell, Fletcher, Brown


SM words green background

We say: Watford 1-1 Stoke City

Both clubs have struggled in the final third during their last two outings, and that may lead to a low-scoring draw being played out at Vicarage Road. With both clubs keen to remain in contention in and around the playoffs, neither manager would complain about a stalemate at this stage of the season.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured on July 4, 2020
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