Watford vs Stoke City: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Troy Deeney continues his quest to score his 100th competitive goal for Watford on Saturday as The Hornets take on Stoke City in the lunchtime kick off in the Premier League.
If Deeney can fire the home side to victory at Vicarage Road then he will become the sixth player in Watford’s history to reach the landmark goal scoring figure and it might also be enough to move The Hornets into sixth place in the Premier League. Three points against Stoke, should Manchester United and Everton fail to win later in the day, would see Walter Mazzarri’s side move into the dizzying heights of the top six.
The Potters come into the game looking to recover from their disappointing home defeat to Bournemouth last weekend but Mark Hughes will be without his midfield maestro Joe Allen who is suspended.
Watford have made a solid start to the season and, barring a six goal drubbing at Anfield earlier in the month, have been relatively economical defensively. The Hornets are unbeaten in their previous four fixtures on home soil, dropping just two points in the process, and they defeated reigning Premier League champions Leicester City last weekend. Troy Deeney’s search for a century of goals will be boosted by the knowledge that he has scored in both of his previous Premier League appearances against Stoke.
Stoke have endured an inconsistent start to the season which leaves Mark Hughes’ side languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League table. The Potters failed to win any of their opening five fixtures before putting together a six game unbeaten run which was unceremoniously ended by Bournemouth last weekend. The visiting supporters will be buoyed by their impressive recent record at Vicarage Road which has seen Stoke lose just one of their six trips to Watford.
Walter Mazzarri does not have many injury concerns to contend with prior to facing Stoke. Craig Cathcart and Isaac Success are both long-term absentees whilst Younes Kaboul is a doubt after suffering a knock in training during the week.
The Potters will have to overcome something of a minor midfield crisis on Saturday. Joe Allen is suspended whilst Glenn Whelan and Geoff Cameron are both expected to miss out due to calf and knee injuries respectively. £18 million record signing Giannelli Imbula is expected to step into the breach. Phil Bardsley will also miss out due to injury and will be unlikely to feature again until the New Year.
Watford Predicted Starting XI
Stoke City Predicted Starting XI
Both team are relatively evenly matched on paper but Stoke’s midfield crisis coupled with the possibility that victory for Watford could see them move into the top six will result in a narrow home-win.
Predicted Score: Watford 2, Stoke City 1
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved Alfie Chapman (Alfie Chapman)