Watford were thrashed by Spurs at home on New Year’s Day in a result that could easily have been more embarrassing than the final 4-1 score.
They’ve now lost five of their last seven matches as their form has totally deserted them, and on the road it’s four defeats in a row.
Stoke’s form is hardly anything to shout about either but they at least made life hard for Chelsea last time out and at home they’ve lost only one of their last seven. Importantly they welcome back Marko Arnautovic after a ban as in the nine games he’s been out of the starting XI since the start of last season Stoke have won only once and been beaten six times. His return should also help Shaqiri and in the 34 matches the pair have started together in this time Stoke’s win rate has been 41% - It’s been just 23% otherwise.
Watford’s record away to bottom-half teams isn’t that bad as it’s generally been against the league’s elite that they’ve struggled. However, recent performances are a huge concern and their selection problems can’t be ignored. The influential figures of Behrami, Pereyra and Janmaat are all out and Zuniga, Success and Okaka are almost certain to join them on the sidelines. Stoke have won the last two games between these sides and we expect them to make that three in a row.
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