Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Spurs look to bolster top four ambitions
Credit: Tottenham Hotspur via Getty Images

Having only won 1 of the 17 Premier League meetings between themselves and Tottenham (1W,6D,10L), Watford face an uphill task as they welcome Spurs to Vicarage Road for a 3PM kick-off this afternoon. 

Claudio Ranieri's men have found points hard to come by in recent weeks, losing their last five in the Premier League and being comfortably beaten 3-1 at home by West Ham on Tuesday.

That poor run means the Hornets find themselves 17th in the Premier League, just two points above the relegation zone, albeit with games in hand on some of the teams around them due to Covid-19 related postponements. 

Meanwhile, Spurs come into the match having endured a frustrating 1-1 draw away at Southampton on Tuesday, where they were disallowed three goals.

Conte's side currently sit 7th in the Premier League, but like Watford, have games in hand on some of their rivals.

If they were to win these matches, the six points gained would currently take them into the top four ahead of Arsenal

Team News

Watford

Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley will be available for the match after missing out on the visit of West Ham through a hamstring strain.

Meanwhile, full-back Kiko Femenia will miss out through a hamstring injury sustained during the West Ham fixture. 

Fellow full-back Danny Rose will also miss the visit of his former club due to a knee problem.

Long term absentees Ismaila Sarr, Nicolas Nkoulou, Peter Etebo, Christian Kabasele, and Kwadwo Baah will also miss out.

Watford have also confirmed some players are continuing to isolate under Covid-19 protocols, though the identities of these players has not been revealed. 

Tottenham Hotspur

The team news for Spurs is more brief, with midfielder Giovani Lo Celso recovering from injury to be available for the game. 

Spurs Head Coach Antonio Conte however, confirmed at his press conference that Cristian Romero, Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon are all still out injured and will therefore miss the trip to Watford. 

Managers have their say

In their pre-match press conferences, both managers had their say on this weekends fixture.

Watford Head Coach Claudio Ranieri was full of praise for fellow Italian Antonio Conte ahead of the match.

"Antonio is a fantastic manager, where he goes, he changes the team. And Tottenham now is a very strong team, he wants to arrive in the Champions League, and I think at the end he will achieve that," said the Italian

"His attitude, his strength, his quality. He convinces his players to do everything, he convinces also the board to buy good players. He is a fantastic manager. He is a fantastic man."

Meanwhile, Conte was fully focused on Spurs getting all three points at Vicarage Road. 

“My expectation is that this is the first game of the new year but my expectation is always the same, to play a really good game then try to get the three points," said the Spurs Head Coach.

“My expectation is this. We know very well it won’t be easy.

“Watford will want to do the same but we have to think to ourselves to try to continue to improve game by game and to be better. To be better in many aspects that we’re working on," Conte continued.

"The most important thing for us is the three points."

Predicted line-up's

Watford predicted XI: Bachmann; Masina, Cathcart, Sierralta, Kucka; Louza, Sissoko, Cleverley; Hernandez, King, Dennis. 

Spurs predicted XI: Lloris; Tanganga, Dier, Sanchez; Reguillon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Royal; Lucas Moura, Son Heung-Min; Kane

How to watch

Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur is a 3PM kick-off on Saturday, 1st January.

The game can not be watched live on television in the United Kingdom.

 

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