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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Watford v Spurs, 02.09.18

· Last season's game - Watford 1 Spurs 1, 02.12.17
· This week - last year
· What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 4 2017-18

· See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League history Spurs v Watford.

Prem         Pl W  D  L  F-A  Pts
Home         5  5  0  0 14-1  15
Away         5  2  3  0  8-4   9
Total(Prem) 10  7  3  0 22-5  24
Lge Div 1 
Home         6  3  0  3 11-11  9
Away         6  3  1  2  7-6  10
Total(Div 1)12  6  1  5 18-17 19
Total(Prem) 10  7  3  0 22-5  24
Total(Div 1)12  6  1  5 17-10 19
Grand Total 22 13  4  5 38-15 40

Last Six Premier League results:-

Watford    -    LWLWWW

Spurs      2-0    Watford
Watford    2-1    Newcastle
Man Utd    1-0    Watford
Watford    2-0    Brighton
Burnley    1-3    Watford
Watford    2-1    C. Palace

Spurs      -    LWWWWW
West Brom  1-0    Spurs
Spurs      1-0    Newcastle
Spurs      5-4    Leicester
Newcastle  1-2    Spurs
Spurs      3-1    Fulham
Man Utd    0-3    Spurs

Pos         P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
4. Spurs    3  3  0  0   8-2    6    9
5. Watford  3  3  0  0   7-2    5    9

Top billing again!

Monday night's game at Old Trafford was billed as the "Game of the weekend" and here we are this week headlining Sky's "Super Sunday"!

Indeed it is truly a top of the table clash as both Spurs and Watford have won their first three games. (Watford have won four games, having played on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup) Something has got to give here though, as Watford seek to win their first four league games for the first time since 1988/89, when they were in the second tier. Spurs last won their first four in 2009, with Harry Redknapp at the helm. We also have a chance of winning our first three away games for the second successive season. Last year, our victims were Newcastle, Everton and West Ham with the third game being played on 23rd September. This year of course, our fixture list has been adjusted to take into account the delayed opening of the new "Tottenham Hotspur Stadium".

Due to the juggling of home and away fixtures to accommodate Spurs, four of Watford's first five Premier League games are at home. So far they have hosted and beaten Brighton and Crystal Palace. The "Hornets" also beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor. After the first International break of the season, Manchester United will travel to Vicarage Road. Whilst Spurs will have three consecutive home league games in January and February, "The Hornets" will play five of their first six league games of 2019 away from home.

Watford's Carabao Cup win was 2-0 away to Reading. It was achieved with a totally different starting line-up to that which beat Palace last Sunday. Former Spurs keeper and crowd favourite Heurelho Gomes is consigned to understudy status these days. He is 37 and Watford's new number one is 35 year old Ben Foster, who is highly familiar to Spurs fans because of his persistent slowing down and time-wasting tactics when at West Brom. I noticed he even used such strategy last week at home to Palace. He must be struggling to adjust to playing for a winning team!

We now know that we have a Third Round "home" League Cup tie to look forward to against Watford later this month. We still do not know where that is going to be played, but I suspect the application to play at the MK Dons stadium will be approved.

Watford's early season success has been achieved despite the high value departure of Brazilian Richarlison to Everton, where has has already scored three goals, but also has been sent off. He will be back in time to meet his old team in December. Former Spur Etienne Capoue was regarded as fortunate not to be sent off early in the Palace game for a dangerous tackle on Zaha, who was being targeted by fans and players alike - not to mention Watford's notorious mascot "Harry the Hornet"!

In Richarlison's absence, Watford's danger man would appear to be Argentinian Roberto Pereyra, who is in his third season at Vicarage Road. He has scored three goals already. Troy Deeney will be offering his forceful and powerful support.

Manager Javi Gracia has signed loanee Gerard Deulofeu on a permant deal, but the former Barcelona and Everton winger faces a late test for this game. Apart from goalkeeper Foster none of Gracia's other 5 summer signings started last week's game against Palace, although midfielder Ken Sema (signed from Swedish side Ostersund) was a sub and did start at Reading, as did defenders Adam Masina, Marc Navarro, and Ben Wilmot. Former West Ham youngster Domingos Quina scored one of the two goals at Reading. With all the talent at their disposal and after such a good start, Watford must be confident already of a fifth consecutive Premier League season next year.

Spurs travel to Watford on the back of a magnificent 3-0 win at Old Trafford which ought to send shivers down the spine of any opposition team. However, Mauricio Pochettino is clearly not being complacent about the level of his team's performance, or the danger of this opposition, as he came across quite sharply in yesterday's press conference. Pochettino said:-

“My mood wasn’t great, I was so disappointed [after Old Trafford],” he said. “We need to improve our performance. I wasn’t happy with the first half and I translated that to the players. We need to talk about reality, not perception, and the reality was that in the first half we could concede one, two or three goals.

“The team showed character and in the second half we dominated but if we want to fight for big things, it’s about trying to improve. After three games, Watford are over the moon and if we’re not ready and we believe that because we beat Manchester United 3-0, all is fantastic, we are going to crash......"

So, Spurs need to be at their best this afternoon and it would seem the manager has let them know that in no uncertain terms. He is going to have to tackle Watford without captain Hugo Lloris (thigh) and Moussa Sissoko (hamstring). Erik Lamela will be assessed before the game. Juan Foyth is still in late stages of rehabilitation, but Victor Wanyama is back in full training.

Son Heung-min scored our goal in last year's draw here and also scored the dramatic winner here in December 2015. Son will return to us after the International break, and he has captained his team to victory (2-1 after extra time) in yesterday's Asian Games Final against Japan. A win in this tournament was "Sonny"'s last chance to win exemption from performing National Service in his home country.

We will of course have top scorer Lucas Moura and ace Harry Kane in what will be a very competitive game. Three or four at the back? Who knows. Surely Toby Alderweireld has to be in there after Monday night's performance? I've gone for a 2-0 Spurs win!

Match referee Andre Marriner hasn't been the most popular of officials for Spurs, but his last game in charge of us was the historic 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in April. I have nothing to say to his detriment on this occasion!

· Spurs' record in recent London Derby matches

· "It was Twenty Years ago today!" - our fourth game 20 years ago was a 2-1 home win against Blackburn with David Pleat in temporary charge.

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