Watford vs Stoke City Preview: Mazzarri’s men looking to secure their sixth win of the season

Matchday 13 is approaching as Watford and Stoke City are set to go head-to-head at Vicarage Road.

Watford are going into this game from a 2-1 win over the champions Leicester City which saw the Hornets pick up their fifth win of this campaign.

Their opponents, however, are sitting in the bottom half of the Premier League table having only picked up three wins all season and just three points above the drop zone.

Stoke struggle on the road

Stoke have only won one of their last nine Premier League away matches and they will be eager to get back to winning ways after their 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth last time out ended a six-game unbeaten run. 

First choice keeper Jack Butland, who fractured his ankle in England’s friendly against Germany back in March, may struggle to get back into the team as Lee Grant has taken his place and has been "fantastic" for Stoke so far, according to Stoke boss Mark Hughes. He has conceded four goals in their six-match unbeaten run.

Watford flying high in the league

Watford players after their 2-1 against Leicester City. | Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Watford players after their 2-1 against Leicester City. | Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Watford are currently sitting 8th in the Premier League and are just six points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth place.

Mazzarri has had two big wins this season with a 3-1 win over Manchester United and a 4-2 away win against West Ham. The Hornets went unbeaten in October with two wins and two draws. Could this be the season Watford get into the Europa League?

Last time the teams met

In the fixture at the Britannia last season Watford came out 2-0 winners where Troy Deeney grabbed his first Premier League goal of last season.

In the reverse fixture at Vicarage Road, Stoke took all three points with a 2-1 victory with goals from Jonathan Walters and Joselu. Deeney grabbed a consolation goal late on but was not enough to see Watford grab any points that day.

Deeney celebrating his first Premier League goal in the away fixture last season (Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Team news

Watford are still without defender Craig Cathcart who is suffering with a hernia problem. Isaac Success could return after seeing a specialist doctor in Spain this week about his hamstring injury which he picked up earlier this season.

Christian Kabasele could be side-lined for this fixture as he has picked up a knock. Watford are boosted with the return of Josè Holebas after suspension. 

For Stoke, Steven Ireland is still out of action after breaking his leg in May. Glenn Whelan is having a late fitness test after sustaining a hamstring injury. Jack Butland is still out of action with a fractured ankle. Ibrahim Afellay is injured with a ACL knee injury and will be out of action until January.

Predicted starting line-up

Watford’s possible starting line-up: Gomes, Britos, Kaboul, Prödl, Amrabat, Zuniga, Pereyra, Behrami, Capoue, Ighalo, Deeney.

Stoke City’s possible starting line-up: Grant, Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Adam, Allen, Shaqiri, Krkic, Arnautovic, Bony.