COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 2nd December 2017
VENUE Vicarage Road
Watford  SQUAD 1.  Heurelho GOMES
2.  Daryl JANMAAT
3.  Miguel BRITOS
4.  Younes KABOUL
5.  Sebastian PRODL
6.  Adrian MARIAPPA
9. Troy DEENEY
10.  Isaac SUCCESS
13.  Molla WAGUE
14.  Nathaniel CHALOBAH
15.  Craig CATHCART
16.  Abdoulaye DOUCOURE
17.  Jerome SINCLAIR
18.  Andre GRAY
19.  Will HUGHES
21.  Kiko FEMENIA
22.  Marvin ZEEGELAAR
23.  Ben WATSON
25.  Jose HOLEBAS
26.  Brice DJA DJEDJE
27.  Christian KABASELE
28.  Andre CARRILLO
29.  Etienne CAPOUE
30.  Orestis KARNESIS
31.  Tommie HOBAN
33.  Stefano OKAKA
35.  Daniel BACHMANN
37.  Roberto PEREYA
PREVIEW Both sides were beaten in midweek, with Watford suffering a 2-4 loss to Manchester United, battling back from 0-3 down to 2-3 and then conceding again.  It will be a battle to restore confidence and while Spurs won there 4-1 last season, it will not be as clear cut a game this time.

Marco Silva has done a good job with the Hornets this season after coming in during the summer, but they have been a little erratic and with the Everton job being dangled in front of him, his decision to stay appears to be welcomed by the Watford fans.  There have been the usual raft of loan signings but with the purchase of Richarlson, they seem to have unearthed a player that even Tim Vickery (South American football expert for the BBC and TalkSport) didn't think would set the Premier League alight.  His pace up front and his ability to finish clinically has made a difference to a side who didn't score a lot of goals last season.

The club have invested in players to take Watford on, but some of those left are good Premier League players, but may not be of the highest quality, although Silva has them playing as a unit that are becoming hard to beat.  Cleverley, Deeney and Gomes are all experience din the top flight, but the defence has weaknesses that could be exploited and Tottenham need to be able to pass and move better than they have been doing in recent games.

I reckon Watford will sit in to try and frustrate Tottenham, with their attacks limited to breakaways and set-pieces.  Another frustrating time on the cards for Spurs I fear.

PREDICTION Watford    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Watford
Watford TEAM NEWS :
Will Hughes (hamstring), Kiko Femenia (knock), Isaac Success (knee), Nathaniel Chalobah (knee), Younes Kaboul (hamstring), Craig Cathcart (knee) and  Tommie Hoban (knee),  while Miguel Britos (knock) is a doubt for the Spurs game. 
Long term injured Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (knee) both miss the trip to Vicarage Road.

Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.20 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:25 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 15.00 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
The THFC Official website  Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Watford  1 (1)  

Premier League
Saturday 2nd December 2017
Vicarage Road
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)

Kick off 15:00
Kabasele  12m 50s Son  24m 42s
Cleverley (foul on Dele)  36
Kabasele (foul on Kane)  52
Zeegelaar  (foul on Dele)  73


Vertonghen  (foul on Carrillo)  71


Sanchez  (elbow on Richarlison)  52

Crowd :   20,278 Weather :  Dry, chilly
Referee :  Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. L. Betts; Mr. S. Child
Fourth Official :  Darren England  
Watford kicked off and played towards the - end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Watford : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Heurelho GOMES

21  Kiko FEMENIA
  6  Adrian MARIAPPA
5  Sebastian PRODL
16  Abdoulaye DOUCOURE

27  Christian KABASELE         (29  Etienne CAPOUE  64)
  8  Tom CLEVERLEY       (18  Andre GRAY  88)
37  Ricardo PEREYRA
22  Marvin ZEEGELAAR     

  9  Troy DEENEY

Unused subs: 
39  Orestis KARNEZIS
  2  Daryl JANMAAT
13  Molla WAGUE
28  Andre CARRILLO
23  Ben WATSON

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ     
33  Ben DAVIES

15  Eric DIER

20  DELE Alli  (29  Harry WINKS  87)
19  Mousa DEMBELE 
  Heung-Min SON
  (11  Erik LAMELA  77)
Christian ERIKSEN  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  64)

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

24  Serge AURIER
  3  Danny ROSE
18  Fernando LLORENTE


Manager :  Marci SIlva Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   FXPro Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  adidas Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

In a game Spurs came from behind in to draw level and could have gone on to win, they had to settle for a point, which, they doggedly managed despite playing 40 minutes with ten men, after the referee dismissed Davinson Sanchez.  Watford were the more physical side, but, despite conceding double the amount of free-kicks for fouls that Tottenham had and having kicked Harry Kane from pillar to post, they finished with eleven men, but still only one point.

Mauricio Pochettino changed the formation to start the match to a 4-1-4-1 line-up, probably to provide a bit of protection by Eric Dier in front of a flat back four.  Attacking on the flanks with Davies and Trippier, their play going forward was utilised soon on, with Dier setting Trips away and the ball in was a good one, with Harry Kane just put off by Prodl, with the ball missed and Harry hitting the post himself, leaving him needing a little time for recovery.  Spurs were probing to find a way through, but were undone by a simple goal from a set-piece when Kabasele rose highest to head down past Lloris from a corner and once more Tottenham would have to come back from behind.  They hadn't made a slow start, but a simple defensive situation meant they had to come back from behind again.

Dembele, Son and Eriksen almost hit back straight away, but the ball was bundled away and when Watford won a free-kick in the Spurs defensive third, this time Davies won the ball to defend it better, with Atkinson giving offside against Watford despite it coming off a Tottenham player.  The home side were looking to hit Spurs on the break very quickly, with Richarlison and Zeegelaar keen to run at the white shirts, while Atkinson failed to punish fouls on Dier and Alli before Davies blocked an overhead kick by Richarlison after a long throw in had been flicked on at the near post.  Spurs played a long diagonal ball that ended with Kane hitting a cross that went over Kabasele's head, but Dele just failed to get on the end of it and that was the start of a little spell of attacking by Spurs that was eased by the referee giving a cheap free-kick against Dier. 

Spurs were hesitant in defence, with Jan leaving a bouncing ball in the box just a few yards out and Lloris had to come for it, with Richarlison claiming a penalty as Davies prevented him reaching the ball, but sweeping forward to the other end of the pitch, Eriksen found himself on the right wing and his low, measured cross provided Heung-Min Son the easy task of netting the ball from close range.  While Watford raged they might have had a second, Tottenham moved the ball quickly as they did regularly last season and intelligent play brought the equaliser with some simple football.

There was a claim for a Spurs penalty when a ball into the box appeared to hit a hand, but you wouldn't expect Atkinson to help Spurs out, so they had to keep trying to find a way past the Watford two banks of four who got back behind the ball as soon as they lost possession.  Once again, the close attention on Watford players on the ball saw Spurs make strides going forward, with Trippier having two goes at crossing to a Spurs team-mate, but the first was blocked and the second was taken by Gomes.  The pressure was building and Cleverley unsubtly brought down Dele as he got away from him and was shown a yellow card.  They did get away with Kiko involved in providing a shooting chance for Doucoure, whose 25 yarder flashed by the post, but Mousa Dembele's presence saw him turning players left and right to build moves, which Watford had to defend stoically.  Davies went close with a shot from the edge of the box after a free-kick had been recycled, then he had to be alert to clear a cross from Zeegelaar, with player poised behind him.

There was one last chance before half-time for Spurs, with Prodl fouling Dele, but, once more, Spurs failed to make much from a dead ball situation, with Harry hitting it way over the goal.  The half-time break gave an opportunity to assess  what had gone on in that half, with Eriksen playing more like we are used to than in previous matches, Dele was more involved and the defence were a little more solid but that was only after letting in a goal that should have been defended better,

The start of the second half was pretty frantic, with quick passes, fouls and a booking for Kabasele, who had a few nibbles before finally getting cautioned.  A red card was flashed soon after when the fourth official saw Richarlison flattened by an elbow from Davinson on the halfway line.  The ball had been played forward quickly from a Spurs free-kick which was cleared, but it didn't look intentionally to take the Watford forward out, but an arm across  him that he made the most of.  Losing a man made it hard for Spurs to get anything out of, especially when Kabasele brought down Kane and already on a yellow, Atkinson did not punish him further.  It didn't stop Tottenham pushing forward and Eriksen almost got in on the edge of the six yard box, but Gomes got there first. 

Once more Kabasele brought down Kane, in what was becoming boringly consistent, which Atkinson wasn't.  Son then went down under a late challenge from Zeegelaar, but not even a free-kick was awarded.  It allowed Watford to go on and put a cross that flashed across goal.  They pressed forward and now a corner, but a foul in the box (actually given) relieved the pressure for Tottenham.  The Hornets piled men forward for another corner and Doucoure struck a drive from 25 yards and curled it onto the inside of the post and the ball came out, with Hugo stuck motionless.  It prompted the manager to replace Kabasele, who looked likely to get sent off.  Not that it would have been likely, as Atkinson failed to even speak to Prodl after he left Kane in a heap, with Pochettino going mad on the line.  Pereyra tried to win up Dele before a free-kick was played out to Trippier, who skied his cross.  Sissoko had replaced Eriksen, as Spurs tried to stiffen up the spine of the team.

Tottenham were working the ball forward well, with Trips getting away on the right, from where he floated a ball in, which brought Gomes out to it.  No Spurs player went for it, but Mariappa collided with the keeper laying him out and bringing the physios rushing on.  It was a fortunate break in play, as Spurs were developing a good tempo and the home side broke that.  The game was still getting feisty, with Vertonghen grabbing Carrillo as he looked to get away from him and the Belgian went into the book.  The free-kick produced a break for Tottenham who were nearly through, but Mariappa got a touch to take the ball out for a throw. 

It was another break that saw Sissoko win a corner, but they were denied a player to aim for when Zeegelaar hauled down Dele off the ball and Atkinson went back and booked the Watford man.  It didn't help Spurs, as the yellow shirts forced a corner, which Richarlison almost got on the end of in the second phase, but Poch brought on Lamela for Son in an attacking change rather than bringing on another defensively minded player.  There were two rows of four as Spurs set up with Kane as the outlet up top, but Watford had a cross over everyone by Carrillo and then Capoue tried a shot from outside the box that was straight into Lloris' midriff. 

Both teams were turning the ball over as they looked tired, so, when a corner came in from Cleverley with five minutes left, it was important that Lloris was focused to come and take the ball in the air.  Play was very untidy and when Davies stood on the ball, it looked like Carrillo might have a chance to create something, but Hugo grabbed the ball and then Trippier was fouled badly by Zeegelaar, which should have been another yellow, but was only a free-kick.  A huge shout for a penalty came for a foul on Kane (nothing unusual there this afternoon), but it was hacked clear and Lloris came for it.  Tottenham then raced up the other end, Watford broke and won a corner,  which Kieran cleared for a throw.  Another one was conceded by Lamela, but the long throw into the area was defended well.  The ball was being played wide by Watford, but the crosses were not finding their targets, although they claimed a penalty against Dier for handball when Richarlison put the ball across.    And one more throw was taken before the end of the game came. 

Pochettino marched on the pitch at the end of the pitch to confront the referee about his shameful performance and both teams and mangers were forming a queue to ask him what he was doing out there today.  Under the circumstances, a draw wasn't a bad result, but there was only one winner and that was Martin Atkinson, who will not be punished for what was a performance full of errors and poor decision making.  His lack of consistency was alarming and if this is the best that the Professional Game Match Officials Limited can produce for top flight matches, then they may well be not fit for purpose.  Just who do referees answer to ?  Nobody it seems.

As for the Tottenham performance, it was improved on the last three matches.  After conceding a gimme, they crafted a good equaliser and looked on top until Sanchez's dismissal.  Then it was backs to the wall defending with a changed formation, but they still looked to win the match and had a few chances to do so.  There will be massive changes for Wednesday's game against APOEL, with the defence needed for next Saturday's visit by Stoke and then Brighton a few days later.  Lamela's continued return is a plus and if we can tighten up to stop us going a goal behind, it could be a decent December, after a poor November.

Patrick Hanrahanrahan




With a new manager every season, Watford have installed a LED digital name plate on the door of the boss' office to save having to change it every summer.


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What you thought
Benny The Ball Crisis over ... We are back above Burnley !!
- -.



Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3 Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Liverpool 5 Saturday
Chelsea 3 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Everton 2 Huddersfield Town 0 Saturday
Leicester City 1 Burnley 0 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Swansea City 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 0 Crystal Palace 0 Saturday
Bournemouth 1 Southampton 1 Sunday
Manchester City 1 West Ham United London 2 Sunday


League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester City 15 14 1 0 46 10 43 +36
2 Manchester United 15 11 2 2 35 9 36 +26
3 Chelsea 15 10 2 3 28 12 32 +16
4 Liverpool 15 8 5 2 33 19 29 +14
5 Arsenal 15 9 1 5 29 19 28 +10
6 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 15 7 4 4 23 13 25 +10
7 Burnley 15 7 4 4 14 12 25 +2
8 Watford 15 6 4 5 25 26 22 0
9 Everton 15 5 3 8 19 28 18 -9
10 Leicester City 15 5 5 5 20 19 20 0
11 Brighton & Hove Albion 15 4 5 6 14 19 17 -5
12 Stoke City 15 4 4 7 18 31 16 -12
13 Newcastle United 15 4 3 8 14 22 15 -8
14 Huddersfield Town 15 4 3 8 9 26 15 -17
15 AFC Bournemouth 15 4 3 8 13 17 15 -4
16 Southampton 15 4 5 6 15 18 14 -3
17 West Bromwich Albion 15 2 7 6 12 21 13 -9
18 Crystal Palace 15 2 4 9 8 25 10 -17
19 West Ham United London 15 2 4 9 13 32 10 -19
20 Swansea City 15 2 3 10 8 18 9 -10


Position before match :  7th
Position after match :  7th
Position after the weekend :  6th


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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