Stoke City vs Watford preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Rotherham v Stoke City | Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty images

Watford will be looking to make it three wins in three this week, while Stoke City will be hoping to bounce back after a disappointing performance against Rotherham United on Tuesday night.

Watford continued their impressive home form with wins over Huddersfield Town and Barnsley this week, yet with just one win in their last nine away games they need to be improving their appearances on the road to be in with a chance of automatic promotion.

The Hornets currently sit in fourth while Stoke sit in eighth. The home side are without a win in five league games and victory here would see them move up to seventh and pushing for a place in the play-offs.

The Potters will be searching for the three points after only managing a 3-3 draw against Rotherham in midweek.

Team news

Despite Stoke's Nick Powell being forced off through an injury in the second half of their fixture last Saturday, he played in the game on Tuesday night and will be available. They also welcomed back Steven Fletcher to the match day squad after he was out with a groin injury since the beginning of January. Lee Gregory is still continuing with his recovery.

There are no fresh concerns for Watford, they are without goalkeeper Ben Foster who has been out for the last two games with a finger injury. Daniel Bachmann has replaced him between the posts and has two clean sheets from two games so far. On Tuesday, the Hornets welcomed back Will Hughes into the starting line-up for the first time this season. Christian Kabasele, Stipe Percia, Domingos Quina, Isaac Success and Tom Dele-Bashiru are still all continuing with their recovery.

Predicted lineups

Stoke City:

Bursik (GK), Collins, Batth, Souttar, Norrington-Davies, Cousins, Mikel, Thompson, Powell, Matondo, Brown.

Watford:

Bachmann (GK), Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Masina, Sarr, Cleverley, Hughes, Sema, Deeney, Joao Pedro.

Ones to watch

Stoke City's Nick Powell is their joint top goal scorer this season with seven goals and two assists and will be one to test the oppositions defence. He scored an excellent header to earn them a point against Rotherham in the mid-week fixture and was involved in creating their other two goals.

Stoke City manager, Michael O'Neill, has been impressed by Powell's recent run of form. According to StokeonTrentLive, he said:

"He's been brilliant, Nick. This season as a whole I think his level of performance and consistency has been extremely good.

"Seven goals playing in a variety of positions. We hope he can continue with that and replicate it over the rest of the season."

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Watford's record signing Ismalia Sarr has been excellent since he joined the Hornets in August 2019, his most notable performance when he netted twice in their 3-0 league win against Liverpool last season. The sought after winger has scored four goals and assisted two so far and his pace is enough to test any back line.

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Previous meetings

When these two teams met earlier this season it ended up being a five goal thriller, with Watford coming out with the three points after winning 3-2.

The Potters took the lead early on but Watford drew level when Tom Cleverley's goal was judged to have crossed the line, after being tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Angus Dunn.

Joao Pedro made it 2-1 to the Hornets from the spot but just two minutes later, Fletcher equalised at the other end.

It was an Ismalia Sarr stoppage time strike that sealed the win for the home side.

How to watch

This game kicks off at 19:45 GMT at the bet365 stadium on Friday 22 January.

It is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football.

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