Watford-Tottenham Hotspur Preview

National Sports

Tottenham head coach Nuno Espirito Santo wants to make home advantage count as Spurs, boosted by the news of Harry Kane staying, prepare to host Watford.

Kane announced in midweek he would be staying put amid continued interest from Manchester City, while the hosts have started well on the pitch, too.

Nuno’s men shocked City on the opening day with a 1-0 win and then inflicted defeat on Wolves by the same scoreline, with newly-promoted Watford the next in Spurs’ sight.

“I think Watford is a club that have been able to establish themselves as a Premier League side, despite what happened last season,” Nuno said.

“All of us know Watford pretty well and they’ve been able to keep the core of the squad, they have good players and a manager that has new ideas. They are very competitive, very intense.

“We’re going to face a tough opponent, but we are at home, and the home factor is huge for us.”

The Hornets started promisingly, dispatching Aston Villa 3-2 before succumbing to a 2-0 loss against Brighton and Hove Albion last time out.

However, the visitors have a poor away record in London – failing to win in their last 10 in the capital – and head coach Xisco Munoz is determined to start well on Sunday.

“It’s important we come inside the game with a strong mentality and we are focused in the first minutes,” said Muñoz.

“We need to learn about the last situation (against Brighton) and need to prepare in the first minutes with high intensity, full power and maximum focus.

“We stay together, stay narrow and make the most of any situation. It’s important we stay strong mentally and physically, and also it’s important that we play as a team.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tottenham – Dele Alli

Dele Alli scored his first Premier League goal in 533 days against Wolves last time out, ending a run of 19 top-flight appearances without a goal. He last scored in consecutive league games back in December 2019.

Watford – Emmanuel Dennis

Emmanuel Dennis has started both games this campaign and opened the scoring against Villa. Against the Seagulls, Dennis competed for a game-high 21 duels and won a team-leading five aerial duels – his hold-up play will be vital once more on the road.

KEY OPTA FACTS

-After winning their first three away league games against Tottenham between 1982 and 1985, Watford have since lost nine of their last 10 league visits to Spurs (D1).

-Spurs have lost just one of their last 27 home league games against promoted sides (W24 D2), with that loss coming against current boss Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves side in December 2018.

-Tottenham are looking to win each of their first three league games for just the second time in the last 12 seasons (also 2018-19), while they’ve never won their first three games of a league campaign without conceding in their Football League history.

-Watford have lost each of their last seven Premier League away games, failing to score on five occasions in that run. They last had a longer losing run on the road in the competition between December 1999 and May 2000 (10 games).

-Watford have won just two of their last 22 away league games in London (D4 L16), and are winless in 10 in the capital (D3 L7) since back-to-back victories over West Ham and Crystal Palace in 2018-19.

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