Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford – prediction, team news, lineups
Tottenham Hotspur will look to open the new season with three consecutive Premier League victories for the second time in 12 years when they host newly-promoted Watford on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Hornets have a lousy road record in London, winning just two of their last 22 league games in the capital and failing to win in each of their last 10.
Nuno Espirito Santo has had a guaranteed start to life on the Tottenham bench, with three wins and three clean sheets in four games in all competitions.
Successive 1-0 Premier League victories against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers were followed by a comfortable 3-0 victory against Pacos de Ferreira in the Europa Conference League playoff on Thursday night.
Spurs fans were delighted to see club legend Harry Kane in the starting lineup for the first time this season, following confirmation from the forward talisman that he will be staying in North London this summer.
Kane captained the winger and made an instant impact, scoring a double in the first 34 minutes. Vitorino Antunes’ own goal in the 70th minute ended the victory as the Lilywhites rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the first leg to reach the group stage.
With Kane’s transfer saga over, for now, Nuno will be fully focused on what could turn out to be a challenging series of matches over the next several months, with league matches against London rivals Chelsea, Arsenal, and West Ham United as well. like a clash against Manchester United.
However, first, they must face the newly promoted Watford this weekend, a team they have lost only once in their last 16 league games, losing 2-1 at Vicarage Road in September 2018.
In fact, the Spurs have an impressive record against newly-promoted teams, suffering defeat in just one of their last 27 league games at home, and that loss was against Nuno Wolves’ team in December 2018.
By claiming all three points on Sunday, Nuno will become the second Tottenham manager in club history to win each of his first three league games in charge, after Arthur Rowe did so in August 1949.
Watford began life in the top flight with an impressive 3-2 win against Aston Villa in the opening weekend, though they quickly returned to earth when they suffered a 2-0 loss at Brighton & Hove Albion last Saturday.
Xisco Muñoz’s men, however, bounced back from their defeat on the South Coast with a narrow 1-0 League Cup victory over Crystal Palace on Tuesday, with Ashley Fletcher’s goal in the 86th minute rewarding the Hornets with a third-round tie against the Championship team. Stoke City next month.
After conceding four goals in his first two games, the Hornets coach was pleased that his team was keeping a clean sheet midweek and showing signs of improvement on defense.
Watford now requires away improvements if it wants to stay out of the relegation zone this season. The ‘Orns have lost each of their last seven away games in the Premier League, not scoring five times during this streak.
Watford also has a poor record at Tottenham; Despite winning their first three league games on the road against Spurs between 1982 and 1985, the Hornets have lost nine of their last 10 visits to the league.
However, they came close to ending this streak when they last visited Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as Dele Alli scored a late draw to salvage a 1-1 draw for the hosts in October 2019. Watford impressed this time around and Muñoz will need a similar performance from their side if they want to have any chance of success on Sunday.
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Tanganga, Romero, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp, Dele; Lucas, Kane, Son
Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Kabasele, Rose; Cleverley, Etebo, Louza; Sarr, Dennis, Sema