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    Watford v Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview

    By Alex Easley
    Quique Sanchez Flores' Watford host Tottenham Hotspur in what is set to be an exciting encounter on Monday afternoon.
    Mauricio Pochettino takes his young in-form Tottenham team to Vicarage Road on Monday and hope to overtake Manchester City into third in the Premier League table.

    Spurs have lost just two league games all season, at Old Trafford on the opening day and a 2-1 defeat at home to Newcastle, and have the best defensive record in the league conceding just 14 goals in 18 games thus far.

    Watford will have to be on their game is they are to keep up their recent good form and will need to keep key players such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele and a resurgent Erik Lamela quiet to stand any chance.

    Kane broke the club record of most league goals in a calendar year on Saturday against Norwich as he scored twice in the 3-0 win to overtake the previous holder Teddy Sheringham.

    The England international now has 27 league goals in the 2015 with one more match still to play, the Hornets backline will have to be wary and remain focused to keep the red hot striker out.
    Harry Kane celebrated his 26th and 27th league goals of 2015 against Norwich on Saturday to break Teddy Sheringham's Spurs record.
    Having said that, Watford have two in-form strikers themselves in Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, both of whom scored in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

    The Ighalo and Deeney partnership is one to admire as they play off each other so well that the Watford captain knows exactly where the Nigerian is and can always flick on or chest down safe in the knowledge that more often than not Ighalo will be there to pick up the pieces.

    Quique Sanchez Flores’ men have proved to be a tough nut to crack since their promotion, having only lost to Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Arsenal at home so far this season.

    They are currently in seventh place in the league table and can join Tottenham, who are fourth, on 32 points if they are victorious in this one.

    Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes will be facing off against a former club after spending six years at Tottenham, including Spurs' only Champions League campaign.

    French midfielder Etienne Capoue is also set to face his former club for the first time and Flores has spoken out about who his time at White Hart Lane is now behind him:

    "He's not thinking about Tottenham.

    "He's completely happy at Watford. When we talk about football we talk about Watford. We talk about his performances this year.

    "He's a new player today which is very good news for us, to incorporate this type of player. It's amazing to observe that this player is going to play football, to organise, to stop players, for us it is good."
    Midifelder Etienne Capoue has put his Tottenham nightmare behind him after moving to Watford.
    TEAM NEWS

    Mousa Dembele was withdrawn against Norwich nursing a knock but the move appeared to be precautionary and Spurs will make a late decision on the Belgian.

    Heung-min Son, Nacer Chadli, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb will all be pushing for a recall but Clinton N'Jie faces two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

    Rotation could be on the cards as Pochettino balances a heavy workload with his sizeable squad, many of whom will be keen to increase their game time given how the team is performing.

    But, after seeing his side produce an impressive display on Boxing Day, Pochettino could resist the chance to stray too far from the team that beat Norwich bar an alteration at full back.

    Watford have a fully fit squad to choose from, Joel Ekstrand aisde, who is still recovering from an ACL injury.

    The Hornets' front line picks itself with both Ighalo and Deeney capable of giving Spurs plenty of problems in defence given their unique blend of rugged power and technique.

    Expect Flores to keep faith with the majority of the side who helped propel Watford comfortably into the top half with a point at Stamford Bridge.

    Nathan Ake missed the trip to face his parent club in west London and is expected to return ahead of Jose Holebas on the left hand side of defence.

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    Watford are winless in their four Premier League meetings with Tottenham (D2, L2).

    The Hornets' last win over Tottenham in all competitions was a 3-2 League Cup victory at White Hart Lane in October 1994.

    Watford

    Watford have won three of their last four home matches.

    They have kept six clean sheets in their nine Premier League games at Vicarage Road this season.

    The Hornets will be looking to win three successive top-flight home games for the first time since a four-match streak in December 1986.

    Watford have not ended the calendar year with a league defeat since 2007, when they lost 4-2 against QPR in the Championship.

    They have already won more points in 2015-16 than in the entirety of either of their previous two Premier League campaigns.

    Odion Ighalo is the first Watford player to score in five successive top-flight games.
    Troy Deeney has been directly involved in six goals in his last seven league appearances (five goals, one assist).

    Rival managers Quique Sanchez Flores and Mauricio Pochettino previously met in La Liga when Flores managed Atletico Madrid and Pochettino was in charge of Espanyol.

    Tottenham Hotspur

    Tottenham have not lost away from home in the Premier League since the opening day of the season (W3, D4).

    Harry Kane has scored 10 goals in his last nine league games for Spurs.

    The England striker has scored 27 Premier League goals in 2015, the most by a Tottenham player in a calendar year.

    Dele Alli has scored or set up five goals in his last five league games (two goals, three assists).

    Spurs have won 18 and lost none of their last 20 Premier League meetings with newly-promoted opposition since losing to QPR in April 2012.

    They have not lost their final league game of a calendar year since 2008, when beaten 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion.

    K.O. 3PM 28/12/2015 – VICARAGE ROAD
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    Item Reviewed: Watford v Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alex Easley
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