Watford vs Stoke City
Sunday 27th November 2016
Kick Off 12.00pm
STOKE CITY will be looking to bounce back quickly from last weekend’s loss to Bournemouth when they face Watford in Sunday’s live televised fixture at Vicarage Road.
An unbeaten run of six matches was ended by the Cherries in a game where the Potters were left to rue a number of missed opportunities.
To make matters more difficult this time out, Mark Hughes will be without the services of recent UEFA Team of the Year nominee Joe Allen who is serving a one-game suspension for collecting five yellow cards.
Phil Bardsley is also sidelined after picking up a knee injury so the Welshman will be hoping Glenn and Glen – Whelan and Johnson – will be fit enough to work themselves straight back into the starting line-up.
There are other options of course with Giannelli Imbula – the Club’s record signing no less – ready and primed for action again after a number of weeks out of the spotlight.
Imbula of course played a big part in the first goal of the win at Watford last year and he’ll be desperate to impress this time round should be thrust into the action.
The Hornets are unbeaten in their last four home games this season and disposed of Premier League champions Leicester City by two goals to one most recently.
Watford 1 (Deeney 86)
Stoke City 2 (Walters 18, Joselu 51)
Victory at Vicarage Road last season elevated the Potters as high as seventh in the league with just seven games remaining.
A superb 13-pass move culminated in Jonathan Walters turning home Phil Bardsley’s right wing cross to break the deadlock early on before Joselu doubled the advantage with a neat lob after Heurelho Gomes’ poor kick had been knocked into his path by Walters.
The Hornets, still celebrating reaching an FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley with a win at Arsenal the previous week, pulled a late goal back through talisman Troy Deeney but the Potters deservedly held out to secure all three points.
Stoke City: Butland; Bardsley, Cameron, Wollscheid, Muniesa; Whelan, Imbula; Walters, Afellay (Diouf 84), Arnautovic (Ireland 84); Joselu. Unused: Haugaard, Adam, Teixeira, Crouch, Bojan.
Watford 1 (Helguson 67)
Stoke City 2 (Hoekstra pen 34, 49)
Peter Hoekstra highlighted his worth in a red and white striped shirt with a brace for the Potters in this win at Vicarage Road in March 2003.
His first was from the penalty spot after Micah Hyde had handled Mark Wilson’s corner whilst his second was a brilliant twisting volley from 25 yards out after Andy Cooke had chested down Mark Crossley’s long kick forward.
The Potters secured a first win at Watford for ten years and extended an unbeaten run to five matches as Tony Pulis’ side edged closer to securing their status in the second tier of English football.
Stoke City: Crossley; Thomas, Williams, Handyside, Shtaniuk, Clarke; Wilson (Marteinsson 85), O’Connor, Gunnarsson, Hoekstra (Goodfellow 66); Cooke (Iwelumo 83). Unused: Banks, Greenacre.