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    Watford v Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview

    By Tom Regan

    Watford’s fantastic 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, accompanied with the 3-0 hammering of Liverpool last week has shown they are a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League. Many expected the newly promoted side to be fighting for survival, but they have proved everybody wrong with a lovely brand of football.
    They host Tottenham on Monday, and that will be a true test as to whether or not they can defy the odds and keep up pace with the big guns, with Spurs positioned strongly for a top four finish and a welcome return to the Champions League.

    The north Londoners sealed a 3-1 victory over Norwich City which has seen them stay in fourth place, helped by Manchester United’s 2-0 loss to Stoke City. Harry Kane has shown he is more than just a one season wonder despite taking a while to find his feet this campaign. He has now netted nine goals in as many games.
    Previous Meetings

    The two sides last met in an FA Cup tie back in 2012, which resulted in a 1-0 win for the Lilywhites thanks to a Rafael Van der Vaart strike. From the 22 players who featured that day, only three are likely to play on Monday. Troy Deeney, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.
    Overall, Tottenham have been overwhelmingly the most successful side when the two teams have met over the years by winning 24 of the 39 meetings and drawing 8. Spurs must not underestimate their opponents because Quiche Sanchez Flores’ side are capable of beating anybody when they are at their best, as proved this season.

    Team News
    The Hornets welcome back Nathan Ake back into the squad for the visit of Spurs. The full-back missed the 2-2 Boxing Day encounter with Chelsea under the terms of his loan deal at Stamford Bridge. Otherwise, Flores has no new injury concerns, but will be without defenders Tommy Hoban (groin) and Joel Ekstrand (knee).

    Mauricio Pochettino will have to leave it until the last minute before deciding whether to include Mousa Dembele. The Belgian international took a knock to his ankle in the 3-0 win over Norwich on Boxing Day, while Ryan Mason looks to have regained fitness subsequent of an ankle problem and could be included. Clinton N’Jie (knee) and Alex Pritchard (ankle) are both out.
    Betting Odds (bet365)

    Watford: 13/5
    Draw: 5/2
    Tottenham: 23/20
    Match Prediction

    This fixture is mightily hard to predict because of Watford’s all round strength, and you never know which Tottenham team is going to show up, especially with a congested schedule, however, they are one of the fittest outfits in the Premier League and that could work in their favour.
    Fatigue could play a factor, and you would expect a couple of changes from both sides given the quick turnaround.

    The north Londoners have been far more consistent under Mauricio Pochettino this term, and anything is possible given the open nature of the league which sees Leicester City sitting top of the pile. Watford have taken 13 points from a possible 15 which has pushed them into seventh and just three points behind the Lilywhites. I am finding it hard to pick a winner, so I am going to go with an entertaining London Derby. Score draw for me.
    Watford 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (14/1 with bet365).
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    Item Reviewed: Watford v Tottenham Hotspur: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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