MX23RW : Monday, August 2 08:08:59| >> :120:33051:33051:
Jan 1, 2020 at 3pm UK at Vicarage Road
Attendance: 20,584
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Deulofeu (30'), Doucoure (49')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Neto (60')

Preview: Watford vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the Premier League game between Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers on New Year's Day.

Wolverhampton Wanderers face Watford at Vicarage Road on New Year's Day less than 72 hours after narrowly losing out to leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

As for the Hornets, they have had an extra day's rest on the back of comfortably overcoming relegation rivals Aston Villa at the weekend.

Match preview

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo on September 28, 2019© Reuters

After yet another VAR decision went against his side against Liverpool, Nuno Espirito Santo cut a frustrated figure both during and after the narrow defeat against the division's top side.

However, despite the natural disappointment, Nuno will take pride from how his side performed on Merseyside, less than 48 hours after overturning a two-goal deficit to get the better of Manchester City.

Having to face the division's two highest-quality sides in an unprecedented short amount of time was equally as harsh as the marginal offside call which denied Pedro Neto a well-taken equaliser in front of the Kop on Sunday.

Nevertheless, three points from those two games is more than what the majority of the most level-headed of supporters would have expected, and more positives than negatives will be spoken of ahead of the visit to Hertfordshire.

The biggest task on Nuno's hands is to maintain the energy levels in his small squad and despite the opportunity to move back into the top six, changes will be considered necessary on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Watford head into the contest with the adrenaline running high after yet another improved performance and result since the arrival of Nigel Pearson.

On the back of four points being recorded from meetings with Manchester United and Sheffield United, the Hornets efficiently defeated Villa by a 3-0 scoreline at the weekend.

While the recent upturn in results has not been enough to get the club out of the bottom three, it has put Pearson's side to within touching distance of 17th place, something which has not been the case in several months.

Pearson's appointment is currently proving to be a masterstroke, although the return of Troy Deeney from injury and the improvement of Ismaila Sarr have been equally crucial, with the pair contributing five goals between them from three outings.

Watford Premier League form: DLDWDW

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: WDLWWL
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): DWLWWL

Team News

Adama Traore celebrates scoring for Wolves on October 6, 2019© Reuters

After being partially rested against Liverpool, Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez will return to the Wolves starting lineup.

The same applies to Romain Saiss, although Nuno must decide whether to use the Moroccan in defence or midfield with Joao Moutinho due a rest.

Matt Doherty should also play at right wing-back, with either Jonny or Ruben Vinagre being used on the opposite flank.

Pearson must make at least two changes with Adrian Mariappa serving a one-match ban for his two yellow cards against Villa and Will Hughes absent through injury.

While Craig Dawson or Adam Masina will come into the defence, Nathaniel Chalobah should replace Hughes in midfield.

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

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Jonny; Traore, Jota, Jimenez

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We say: Watford 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

While Wolves have impressed against the two biggest clubs in the division, we feel that their efforts in those games will take its toll here. Watford have, so far, been excellent under Pearson, and we are backing the home side to secure another crucial victory.

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Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring for Manchester City on December 29, 2019
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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20241660
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Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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