Watford off to their best start since 1998/99, when they were in the Football League have earned 9 points, on the back of three wins to find them at the top of the Premier League table ahead of a visit from Tottenham. Spurs come into the Saturday fixtures off an impressive 3-0 victory at Old Trafford on Monday.
This will be the Hornets biggest challenge in this young season, as they face a perennial top six club, led by the England captain, Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, who spurred in their victory against United. Not to be overshadowed, Watford have scored seven goals through three games, but more importantly have been resolute defensively, led by Ben Foster in goal.
Watford has lined up in a 4-4-2 formation in each of the Premier League games, with a strong partnership forming between captain, Troy Deeney and Andre Gray. While these players are key up front, eyes will be on Roberto Pereyra, who continues to sparkle at home, with six goals (and assist) in the last six at Vicarage Road, going back to Gameweek 32 last season.
Javi Gracia said, “Pereyra has scored many goals, everybody knows he’s an important player for us…I think in this moment he feels confident. He finished very well his chances to score…He’s working with a good balance with the rest of the team.”
The real test will come ahead of Foster, as the Hornets defense has looked good, but Brighton, Burnley and Crystal Palace, aren’t the offensive juggernaut Spurs are. It will be Craig Cathcart and Christian Kabasele called on to slow down Harry Kane in the box. Both central defenders have partnered very well this season, but Kane, a perennial Golden Boot winner will have something to prove on the back of two goals in the last two games. Through the first three games, Watford have allowed the second fewest shots in the Premier League, a testament to the players ahead of Foster.
Playing a 4-4-2 will allow Watford to press the Spurs, but their midfielders are some of the league’s best getting the ball into Kane. Still with a precision and confidence, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli could make it a very long day for Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue in the middle of the pitch, as they have performed well to start the season. Gerard Deulofeu will miss this fixture, so expect Will Hughes to get the out of position start, wide right. Not where he is most effective, but coupled with Capoue, they have 17 tackles each, while Hughes have won 15, of those leading the league.
While Watford have seeming put all the pieces together and playing very well, this will be a true test for the Hornets on Sunday. If the defense can slow down the wing backs and balls into Kane, Watford could have a chance. I predict a 1-1 draw at the Vic. “Come on you ‘Orns!”