After an emphatic second half performance on Monday evening, Spurs earned their first win at Old Trafford under Mauricio Pochettino, and at the same time the respect of the wider footballing world. Often dismissed as mere top four contenders, Spurs announced themselves as genuine challengers for the Premier League title. At the early stages of each season the club tends to be written off - much to the annoyance of fans - who feel the team’s efforts are overlooked by sections of the media. By the same token - a lack of press coverage in previous campaigns has allowed Spurs to quietly rack up points and build momentum - without an intense and potentially harmful media spotlight. A spotlight which at present is sizzling down on the red side of Manchester - and might be interpreted as a lack of respect. The short trip over the M25 to play Watford is the next piece Spurs need to place in the puzzle in their quest to quietly sneak into the back door of the title race. And, as Pochettino will relay to the players in the changing room on Sunday, they must build on their performance of a week ago, not rest on it - but quietly though..
Watford have taken nine points from nine after their best ever start to a Premier League campaign. They have looked particularly formidable at Vicarage Road, which they have turned into a fortress under Javi Garcia, beating both Brighton and Crystal Palace there already this season. They are however yet to play a side of Spurs’ calibre; and so the game will be as much as a yardstick for their own credentials as Old Trafford was for Spurs.
Spurs’ recent history in this fixture suggests a positive outcome is likely. Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with Watford in all competitions (W10, D3) – a run stretching back to October 1994. They will however need to look out for Roberto Pereyra who has been involved in nine goals in his last nine Premier League games, scoring seven and assisting two. Monday’s game will be the first game in September - relieving Harry Kane of the dreaded month of August - if that’s still a thing anymore?
Hugo Lloris will miss the game with a thigh injury, Erik Lamela faces a late fitness test – obviously - and Son remains on international duty with South Korea, who will face Japan in the final of the Asia games. Watford boss Javi Gracia will restore his first choice XI after changing his entire team for the Carabao Cup win over Reading in midweek.
Enjoyed this article? Hit the heart below!