All eyes are on Antonio Conte to see if his Tottenham can break down a Watford side that will almost inevitably defend by committee on Saturday.
Watford are enduring their worst run of form of the season, representing an excellent time for Tottenham to face Claudio Ranieri’s relegation-threatened side. To compensate for their latest dire defensive record, expect Ranieri to pull out all the stops to create an impenetrable defensive wall.
It will be up to Tottenham to find a creative way to penetrate what will surely be a stubborn, defensive Watford setup.
Wingbacks will play a crucial role
Expect both of Conte’s first-choice wingbacks, Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal, to feature. A lot will depend on their ability to deliver pinpoint crosses into dangerous areas. Watford will concentrate on congesting the middle of the park, making Spurs penetrate from wide positions. Royal and Reguilon will need to be up to the task and show their ingenuity to trouble Watford from the byline.
Either wingback should also expect to be on the receiving end of crosses, and will need to make their final touches count if Spurs are to collect all three points.
Davies might hold the key with overlapping runs
Ben Davies might represent the key to unlock Watford’s defence. He’ll be expected to join the attack when Spurs are in possession for a prolonged period. Davies is thriving in his new role and loves the license to maraud forward and overlap the wingbacks and attacking midfielders. If Watford are as resolute as they intend, Davies could hold the key by overloading the home side’s defensive wall with late, timely advanced forays.
Had it not been going too early on a set piece against Southampton, Davies would have scored a rare goal for Spurs. While it’s unlikely the Welshman will score on Saturday, there is a chance he’ll be the one to create the havoc that leads to a Tottenham goal.
Son, Kane and Moura ready for an accomplished away performance
The triumvirate of Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min are raring to have a breakout away performance. Since finding electrifying chemistry in one another’s company, the terrifying trifecta have, at home anyway, created chances, almost at will. Their only match as a trio together on the road under Conte occurred at Goodison almost two months ago. And that was before they started to gel. Dele Alli, who endured a frustrating day on the south coast, started in Moura’s stead on Tuesday. That won’t be the case on Saturday, as Moura will come back into the team, reuniting the trio.
Spurs probably won’t have as many counter-attacking opportunities on Saturday, so it will be incumbent upon Son, Kane and Moura to bypass Watford’s fortified wall with intricate, creative, quick, incisive passing. It represents a solid litmus test for Spurs’ front three, who should be ready to showcase why they’re one of the best advanced trios in the division.