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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Watford v Spurs - 27.01.12

What happened in the Premiership in Match 2010-11
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Full Cup Record of Spurs -v- Watford


FA Cup ties

1894-95 1Q H   3-2 Hunter Goodall 2 
                   *Watford as West Herts
1921-22 2  H   1-0 Bliss
1938-39 3  H   7-1 Miller 2 GW Hall 2
                   Duncan Sargent Ward
1986-87 SF VP  4-1 C Allen P Allen Hodge 2
1998-99 3  H   5-2 Iversen (2), Anderton (pen),
                   Nielsen, Fox

FL Cup ties

1975-76 2    A   1-0 Chris Jones
1994-95 2/1  A   6-3 Klinsmann 3 Anderton Dumitrescu         
                     Sheringham
        2/2  H   2-3 Barmby Klinsmann
2008-09 5    A   2-1 Pavlyuchenko (pen), Bent
Watford psyched by Dyche!

Watford manager Sean Dyche knows a bit about the magic of the FA Cup. As captain of third tier team Chesterfield (managed at the time by former Spur John Duncan), Dyche scored a penalty to put his team 2-0 up in a historic FA Cup semi-final against Bryan Robson's Middlesbrough in 1997. Middlesbrough had a man sent off and after a goal-less first half, The "Spireites" went two up, before Ravanelli put Middlesrough back in the game. Then came the moment that any Chesterfield fan will never forget. A Jonathan Howard shot rebounded off the underside of the bar behind the goal-line, but referee David Elleray did not give the goal. Mr. Elleray is even less popularthan Margaret Thatcher in these parts, I can tell you! Middlesbrough equalised and eventually the game finished 3-3 after extra time. Chesterfield had had their moment, and lost the replay 3-0. Bolton's Kevin Davies's career started at Chesterfield and he featured in both games.

Dyche has come up through the managerial ranks at Watford since his playing career ended with Northampton, and took over after Malky Mackay took over at Cardiff. Dyche then knows all about the power of the underdog, and his team will be psyched up for this contest.

When we last met Watford, it was a Carling cup fifth round game. Spurs were the League Cup holders and would go on to another final, but not without a tremble or two on the way. Watford were managed at the time by Brendan Rodgers, now winning plaudits as manager of Swansea.

The match took place in the early days of Harry Redknapp's Spurs career. Spurs were already on the road to recovery from a dire league position, and had only lost 2 of the 10 games that preceded the Watford tie. Three of those games had been cup games, and all had been won. Harry had led Spurs to two victories over Liverpool in short time. One was in the league, when he told Pavlyuchenko to "F***ing run about a bit", before he scored the last minute winner, and the other was a 4-2 League Cup win, when "Super Pav" scored two goals.

Pavlyuchenko scored one of our goals against Watford too, and actually scored in every match we played in that season's Carling Cup until we came up against Man Utd in the final at Wembley. His goal against Watford was an added time penalty at the end of the first half, after Jenas had been tripped. Priskin had given Watford a 13th minute lead. In the second half, Darren Bent scored the winner, after Pavlyuchenko had challenged for the ball which ran nicely to Bent, who fired home low past goalkeeper Loach.

It wasn't easy for Spurs then, and it won't be easy for us tonight, especially as I expect us to field a number of fringe players, such as Pavlyuchenko. More Cup history between Spurs and Watford can be read here in this preview for the December 2008 game.

Watford's league form has been patchy, and they sit in 18th place in The Championship, six points above danger, with just 7 league wins to their credit. They've won just two of their last 8 games, and one of those was in the 3rd round against lowly Bradford. The "Hornets" will have gained some confidence though from the fact they scored 4 goals in that game and in a home league win against Doncaster on New Year's Eve. 20 year old Marvin Sordell has scored three of Watford's recent goals, and left back Craig Forsyth scored two against Bradford. Sordell is the club's top scorer, and has scored 10 in all competitions. He has come up through the ranks at Watford, and has this year received some England under-21 recognition.

Scott Loach is still at the club and is the established number one keeper. 29 year old right back Lloyd Doyley came off the bench to play against us in the last meeting, and Adrian Mariappa is another player who featured in that last game.

27 year old Mark Yeates will be looking forward to this game with more relish than most. Mark was a former Spurs junior, who always had an eye for goal as he came through our Academy levels. Mark made his Spurs debut in the last game of the 2003-04 Premier League season at Molineux, where we won 2-0. Mark even got an assist for the final pass to Robbie Keane who scored against his old club, who had already been relegated that season. (Wolves 0 Spurs 2 - 15th May, 2004). Yeates made just three more first team appearances the following season, off the bench against Brighton, Chelsea and Crystal Palace, before he embarked upon a career that has taken him to Colchester, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and now Watford. Yeates tends to be deployed on the wing these days.

Harry Redknapp will make the dash across London to pick the team and oversee this game, despite his current ongoing court case. Kaboul, Bale and Parker all withdrew from yesterday's training session, but were not likely starters anyway, with the team likely to read something like Cudicini; Walker, Dawson, Bassong, Rose; Lennon, Livermore, Pienaar, Giovani; Defoe, Pavlyuchenko. Sandro may just be an outside bet to start, or to be on the bench.

The referee for this game is Chris Foy, who attracted the lowest marks ever given to a referee by Spurs Odyssey readers, when he was graded 1.6 out of 10 for his efforts in our defeat at Stoke. Spurs fans are not confident about having Mr Foy for this game!

Everton v Fulham also kicks off tonight, but fifteen minutes after our 7.45 (ESPN) start. So, whoever wins in our game, provided it is settled tonight will be the first team into this year's fifth round. I am confident it will be Spurs - perhaps by 2-0.

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