Tottenham will go into Sunday’s clash against Watford high off their headline making win at Old Trafford. However, they would be foolish to underestimate a trip to Vicarage Road after Watford have won their opening three games of the season, a first in their top-flight history. The game is an unexpected top of the table clash between undefeated sides, albeit in the early stages of the season, but it has the potential to be the match-up of the weekend.
After Monday night it’s unlikely Pochettino will make too many changes to the Tottenham 11. However, despite the great result there were some weaker performances from the Spurs players, particularly Danny Rose who looked like a player not used to starting week in, week out. Ben Davies will most likely return to his left back spot but that will probably be the extent of the changes. Tottenham are blessed with several player options at the moment however, so it would not be too much of a surprise to see Davinson Sanchez reprieved, or perhaps even Harry Winks could return, providing squad rotation for either Mousa Dembélé or Eric Dier.
Like Tottenham, Watford play a very narrow formation that stacks the middle of the pitch with four typically central midfielders. Pereyra will be the player Spurs will have to keep an eye on. So far, he has been the Hornets’ standout performer, scoring three goals in as many games. The former Juventes man could be a headache if not managed correctly.
Watford’s tactics under Javi Gracia mean Pochettino will probably stick to the system we saw against Manchester United. Tottenham will look to dominate the midfield with a diamond of four interchanging players who will try to keep possession. Meanwhile, the Spurs attack will feature the on-fire Lucas Moura as a hybrid between a winger and striker, both providing width and a threat in the box, giving Watford’s entire back-four something to think about.
Overall, this is an intriguing match given how both teams set-up with similar systems and tactics, and how well they have both started their respective seasons. Spurs fans will also be interested to see how Abdoulaye Doucouré fairs as he is rumoured to be seen by management as a potential long-term replacement for Mousa Dembélé. I am predicting a 3-1 away win for Tottenham. Looking at the two sides, both will come into the game trying to do similar things but Tottenham are looking better equipped in the midfield to win a tactical battle. Spurs’ defence still looked wobbly at times on Monday night, despite the return to form of Toby Alderweireld, so I can’t see them keeping two clean sheets on the bounce. Nevertheless, I’m tipping Spurs to come out on top in an ultimately routine win for the North London team.
Predicted Line-Up: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Moura, Eriksen, Alli; Kane.