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    Stoke City vs Watford: Match Preview


    By Alex Easley
    Quique Sanchez Flores' Watford travel to Stoke on Saturday afternoon.
    Stoke will be looking to gain a fourth straight Premier League victory when they host Watford at the Britannia on Saturday afternoon.

    Mark Hughes’ Potters have climbed up the table over the last month after failing to win any of their first six matches.

    The Welshman’s side followed up their victory over Bournemouth with back-to-back 1-0 away wins against Aston Villa and Swansea to move them up to 11th in the table.

    However, while the hosts have enjoyed a winning run, Watford have not been able to win in their last three matches.

    The visitor’s main problem has been scoring goals as they have netted just six goals, five of which were scored by Odion Ighalo.

    Captain Troy Deeney has found the net twice in his last 17 competitive appearances, but his side are unbeaten in their last five league clashes with Stoke.

    Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores played against Mark Hughes while in Spain and said: "He was there for one year at Barcelona. He was stronger than me. He crashed hard into players, I remember that,

    "He was a very tough opponent. But fortunately we are not playing against Mark Hughes.

    "We know they are a good team and that it's a good period for Stoke. It is a difficult stadium to play but we need to be positive."

    The Stoke manager responded to Flores’ comments: "I read what [Flores] said and had a little smile to myself.

    "We probably won't be able to impact the game on the day as much as we did back then, but hopefully the work we have put in this week will enable us to make it another difficult afternoon for him and his team on Saturday.

    "Back-to-back wins at this level is huge, and we have seen how different the outlook of our season is now compared to what it was just three or four weeks ago."
    Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is aiming for a fourth straight Premier League victory.
    TEAM NEWS

    Jonathan Walters could return for Stoke after he missed Monday's win at Swansea with a groin problem.

    Ryan Shawcross is still recovering from surgery and is likely to miss out, while Mame Biram Diouf may not yet be ready to return after being granted compassionate leave.

    Valon Behrami is fighting to return from a calf problem for Watford, while Jose Manuel Jurado remains sidelined.

    Joel Ekstrand is still yet to feature for the Hornets this season, and is unlikely to be available again until the New Year.

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    The sides have only met six times before in the top flight, with Watford winning five of those matches.

    Stoke's only previous top-flight win against the Hornets was a 4-0 victory at the Victoria Ground in March 1983.

    Stoke City

    The Potters have kept just one clean sheet in their last nine Premier League home games.
    Stoke could won four successive top-flight games for the first time since December 2011.

    This will be Mark Hughes' 100th game in charge of Stoke in all competitions.

    Jack Butland has made 39 saves in this season's Premier League - more than any other goalkeeper.

    Watford

    The Hornet's tally of six league goals is the lowest of any side in the top five tiers of English football. AFC Telford United, of the National League North, are the next highest-ranked side to have scored as few goals.

    Watford have never won a Premier League match in October (D4, L6).

    They have attempted 366 long passes - more than any other side in the top flight.

    Captain Troy Deeney has yet to score despite attempting 23 shots (including blocked efforts). It's the highest total of any Premier League player yet to score this season.

    K.O. 3PM - 24/10/2015
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    Item Reviewed: Stoke City vs Watford: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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