A miserably out of shape Watford host Tottenham Hotspur for their opening match in 2022 on Saturday afternoon.
The goodwill created by a 4-1 victory that proved the death knell for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United has been gradually eroded by five consecutive losses for the Hornets since then.
Conversely, Antonio Conte has not yet lost a Premier League match in charge of Tottenham – but gained some of his momentum controlled by a 1-1 draw away to Southampton in the middle of the week.
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Preview of Watford vs West Ham in the Premier League, including how to watch TV, team news and predictions.
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Gray white flowers
When is kick off? Saturday, January 1, 3:00 PM (GMT)Where is the match played? PrästgårdsvägenTV channel / livestream? Football Saturday – Sky Sports, final result – BBC Two (UK), UNIVERSO (USA), DAZN (Canada)Highlights? Sky Sports Football YouTube, Today’s Match (22.45 – BBC One)Judge? Robert JonesWHERE? Lee Mason
Tom Cleverley missed Watford’s first 18-day match with injury / Alex Pantling / GettyImages
Watford could only complete a “full” training session for the first time in two weeks on Monday, the day before West Ham stopped four goals past them. But even that training session would have been without a lot of players who were still recovering from a lot of injuries.
Peter Etebo (quadricep) and Kwadwo Baah (ankle) both have a significant amount of work to do before returning from long-term absence. While Ben Foster (groin) and Christian Kabasele (calf) are scheduled to make a comeback in the next few weeks, Ismaila Sarr is not set to return to first-team training until February – although Senegal has surprisingly named him for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Nicolas N’Koulou is making progress with his recovery from hoarding surgery but Tom Cleverley – along with Danny Rose (knee) – was left out of the midweek squad for a condition in the same area.
Kiko Femenia is also hesitant after getting a knock against the Hammers.
You can read Watford’s expected line-up here.
We are moving forward – together. ✊ pic.twitter.com/rLOQFabAUo
– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) 28 December 2021
Steven Bergwijn marked his first start under Conte with a goal but suffered a fitness blow during his next outing on the second day four days later. The Dutch national team player joins Giovani Lo Celso on the sidelines after the midfielder pulled himself up with a concern during the warm-up of Tottenham’s quarter-final in the Carabao Cup.
While Cristian Romero’s long-awaited return after a nasty thigh injury is getting closer, Ryan Sessegnon is at the beginning of a dismissal that will only last for two weeks.
You can read Tottenham’s predicted line-up here.
To put it bluntly, Watford have a lousy record against Tottenham. The Hornets have only won eight of their 51 meetings with the capital (D11 L32) since the pair first met in the Southern League 12 decades ago.
Watford have won just one win in their last 19 appearances against Spurs in all competitions, a sad sequence that stretches back to the mid-1990s.
? Next up: Watford (A) pic.twitter.com/YcWbl4qewH
– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 29, 2021
The Spurs may have failed against a stubborn and determined team from Southampton, but Watford have offered little evidence to suggest that they can set up a back guard equivalent to the ten-man Saints.
Watford are still the only team in England’s four professional levels that have not yet kept a clean sheet. Tottenham may not have really come in gear forward, but it is unlikely that they will be the first team to break that series.
Prediction: Watford 0-2 Tottenham
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