WATFORD host Tottenham on Saturday. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from the Premier League encounter.
Watford v Tottenham | Saturday 18th January 2020, 12:30 | BT Sport
The early kick-off on Saturday comes at Vicarage Road as a rejuvenated Watford host an inconsistent Spurs side.
Since Nigel Pearson has took the helm at Hertfordshire outfit the Hornets have been buzzing. Pearson hasn’t changed much in terms of personnel, however, the straight-talking former Leicester gaffer has made a few tactical tweaks that have seen Watford pick up four wins and one draw in their last five Premier League fixtures.
Firstly, he has moved from a narrow 4-2-2-2 formation which was favoured under previous managers Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez-Flores to a 4-2-3-1 formation. The tricky Gerard Deulofeu and pacy Ismaila Sarr occupy the wide berths whilst the impressive Abdoulaye Doucoure has slotted into a more advanced attacking midfield role to help the powerful Troy Deeney at the top of the pitch.
It’s the additional presence of Doucoure in the box that has been a major benefit for Watford, he’s got the size to be a threat in the air but he’s clever with his movement and has a decent strike on him too, it’s shown with back-to-back goals for the former Rennes man.
Adam Masina came in at left back last week against Bournemouth and provided a Man of the Match display, it’s testament to Pearson’s galvanising man management that even peripheral players are making a positive impact. They will fancy their chances of upsetting Champions League finalists Spurs on Saturday, that’s for sure.
Jose Mourinho once again saw his side make hard work of an FA Cup replay against Middlesbrough during the week and that lack of killer edge is costing them at the moment. That narrow 2-1 victory was their first in five games and the injury list is not helping Mourinho’s cause.
Tanguy N’Dombele and Danny Rose remain out in the cold whereas Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane and Ben Davies all remain on the treatment table, not to mention doubts over Christian Eriksen’s future.
Without a natural back up for Kane at the top of the pitch it makes it difficult for Jose to play his preferred direct style, the amount of long balls that Spurs play has dramatically increased since the ‘Special One’ arrived at the Lane but Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura are anything but target men. Against low blocks they therefore find it difficult to get the frontmen in behind and with a dysfunctional midfield and less than convincing backline they cannot be backed as favourites here.
That thought process is only further encouraged when you look at Spurs’ away record, not only this season but for a good 12 months now. It’s just two wins out of 11 on the road this campaign for the North London outfit but look at that away form since February 2019 reads W2-D4-L11. Shambolic.
The betting angles
I’m once again happy to make use of the ‘BetBuilder’ feature on Bet365 and back Watford Double Chance and Under 5 Goals at 10/11. I want to get Watford onside here and wouldn’t be surprised if they ran out victorious, however, I’d prefer to get the draw on our side as it could be a player.
For the reasons listed above it’s hard to see Watford losing given their current run and Spurs’ shoddy away efforts. I’m happy to boost it to almost even-money by throwing Under 5 Goals into the mix too to garner a more palatable quote. Pearson has set his side up well defensively since he’s come in, conceding just twice in five league games.
Fewer than five goals have been seen 17 of Spurs’ last 18 on the road and it’s also copped in all Watford’s league home games this season.
I also do like the look of the 10/11 available on 1+ Corner each team in each half and 10+ Bookings Points each team in SkyBet’s Request-A-Bet market.
I’d be very surprised if both didn’t manage at least a corner in each half. Watford have had 5, 4 and 6 corners in their last three games. Spurs have had 4, 9 and 6 in their last three too. Spurs will try get in down the sides whereas Watford will look to get crosses into the big lads in the box.
In terms of bookings, these two rank as top three fodder for poor discipline. Both are averaging around 25 Booking Points per-game so given they meet here I could see at least a booking a piece but probably two or three in all honesty.