The festive period of football is well and truly underway, with both Spurs and Watford receiving less than 48 hours to recuperate after their respective games on Saturday afternoon. I spoke to Mark Engel, a Watford fan, about his thoughts ahead of this top half of the table clash at Vicarage Road on Monday afternoon.
1) Watford are back in the Premier League after a fair few years in the Championship, what has your return to the top flight been like? It’s been fantastic a return, we have been competitive in every match and recently have been on an incredible run of form. Smashing Liverpool 3-0 will live in the memories of Watford fans for many years to come.
The fans have been loud and put some more established clubs to shame. The work of the 1881 club has been magnificent.
2) Quique Sanchez Flores has received much praise for the way he’s done his job, especially considering how many players you brought in. What is your verdict on him and the job he’s at Vicarage Road?
Quique Sanchez Flores has done a great job. His tough decisions made for the greater good of the team have all come off. For example, Britos coming in for Prodl when it seemed the latter did nothing wrong. Britos has been fantastic ever since – just to name one example.
He admitted early on that 4-2-3-1 maybe wasn’t the optimal formation since when we have reverted to a traditional 4-4-2 with Deeney often as a no.10. The two center mids being further up the pitch has helped us.
3) Onto Spurs now, what have you made of our start to the season, Mauricio Pochettino and the young squad he’s working with at White Hart Lane?
This is unusual for Spurs, the defence is solid and results are consistent. Plus (Newcastle aside) Spurs are beating the lesser teams. It’s been efficient and effective. Not much to fault. Becoming too reliant on Kane could be an issue when challenging for top four. Otherwise, as much as I hate to admit it (with Spurs not being my favorite team) the balance and prospects looks good.
4) How do you think Watford will set up on Monday; playing expansively, sitting back or a bit of both?
Watford will continue work exceptionally hard, starting from the front two. Us and Leicester cover the most ground per game. Watford will press Spurs until they make a mistake or lose concentration. Failing that a good old fashioned counter attack could hurt Spurs if they get sucked in too much.
5) In terms of dangermen, are Ighalo and Deeney the only men in the Watford team that Pochettino will have to watch out for?
No, Jurado the tricky left winger has some tricks up his sleeve and has assisted a couple of goals of late. Almen Abdi has a similar potential to supply Deeney or Ighalo.
6) Finally, can we get a prediction for the game – goal and goalscorers – from you?
Sadly I think Watford will lose 2-1. Kane and Alli could be on the scoresheet. For Watford I think it could be ironic for Capoue to score. Otherwise it’s hard to look past Deeney and Ighalo who are always a constant threat. He has the most shots without a goal in the EPL this year (and also the most fouls!)
Many thanks to Mark for his contribution – Come On You Spurs!
Follow Mark – @Markje
Follow me – @Nikhil_Saglani