Tottenham vs Watford – Premier League preview and team news

Tottenham will be intent on continuing their rise into title contention as they attempt to secure the league double over a Watford side that is unbeaten in three games in all competitions.

At present, the hosts are winning with eyecatching authority and that was no more in evidence than in their comprehensive win over lowly Norwich City in midweek, where an early goal rewarded a purposeful start and from then on they did not look back. Any possible doubts over the absence of defender Jan Vertonghen were soon extinguished as at the other end Spurs proved too hot to handle and Harry Kane helped himself to a brace to cap a sharp attacking display.

For this one, it will be more difficult to breach a defence that gives precious little away at the best of times. Kane will be tightly marked as Watford look to cut off the supply line from Christian Eriksen and shackle the threat carried by Dele Alli with his tenacious play and forward runs from midfield. Mauricio Pochettino’s men now find themselves above bitter rivals Arsenal, which shows perhaps more than anything else that they are a side that must be taken extremely seriously by all.

There was plenty to admire about Watford as they managed to hold champions Chelsea to a draw for the second time this season. The first half was a cagey affair but they were in the ascendancy, with Jose Manuel Jurado proving influential in possession and Troy Deeney rarely losing a header up against a powerful backline. The only regret was that they were unable to fashion a real clear-cut chance as set-pieces looked to be their most likely route to goal.

After the break they had to maintain their shape as Chelsea pushed men forward and in the final reckoning the Hornets had goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to thank for preserving a point as he made a brilliant late save to keep out Diego Costa. The Brazilian will hope to continue in that vein here as he returns to his former club for the first time. He had his peaks and troughs while on the books at White Hart Lane, so will certainly relish the occasion.

Vertonghen remains out for Tottenham along with forward Clinton N’Jie, but midfielder Ryan Mason is back from an ankle injury.

The visitors have Nathan Ake back available after he was ineligible to face Chelsea, but Miguel Britos and Etienne Capoue will be assessed after suffering from illness.

Last Meeting: Tottenham registered a fairly routine 3-1 victory over Watford in March 2007 but the moment that grabbed all the headlines was goalkeeper Paul Robinson getting on the scoresheet as his long free-kick forward was misjudged by opposite number Ben Foster and bounced into the net. That added to the lead given to his side by Jermaine Jenas, while Hossam Ghaly made it 3-0 five minutes from time before Darius Henderson’s late consolation.

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