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Watford vs Stoke City. Premier League.

Vicarage RoadAttendance20,087.

Watford 0

    Stoke City 1

    • D Fletcher (16th minute)

    Watford v Stoke preview: Xherdan Shaqiri to return for Potters

    Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates Stoke's third goal of the game
    Image: Xherdan Shaqiri is available for Stoke

    Xherdan Shaqiri is set to return for Stoke as they travel to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

    The Switzerland international missed last weekend's defeat to Bournemouth with an ankle injury, but is available again as the Potters seek a much-needed win.

    Mark Hughes' side have lost four of their last five Premier League games and are just above the bottom three on goal difference.

    "It's not been a great couple of weeks, but you just have to get out there, get back to the fundamentals and make sure we put consistent performances together," said Hughes.

    "We have the capacity to do that and we have guys in the building who are disappointed in their own performances.

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    We look ahead to Saturday's Premier League action on gameweek 10, featuring Manchester United's clash with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea's trip to Bournemouth

    "We have been in these situations before - we slipped into the bottom three just before Manchester United in my first season here, but went and won that game and ended the season ninth."

    Watford, by contrast, are in the top six and their only defeats in the league this season have been against Manchester City and Chelsea.

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    Stoke manager Mark Hughes says his players need to step up

    Team news

    Watford will be without Roberto Pereyra after he limped off in the second half of the defeat to Chelsea last weekend.

    Sebastian Prodl and Younes Kaboul are still sidelined while Isaac Success, Nathaniel Chalobah and Craig Cathcart remain long-term absentees with knee injuries.

    Stoke striker Peter Crouch has an ongoing back issue and will be assessed, while defender Bruno Martins Indi (hamstring) is still unavailable. Stephen Ireland (broken leg) is out.

    Roberto Pereyra of Watford in action
    Image: Roberto Pereyra misses out for Watford

    Opta stats

    Watford have lost just two of their nine Premier League games so far this season (W4 D3 L2); against the current top of the league side (Man City) and the reigning Premier League champions (Chelsea).

    Stoke City have won eight points from their nine Premier League games this season. The only Premier League campaign that they have started worse was their first-ever season in the competition; seven points from nine games in 2008-09.

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    Watford head coach Marco Silva says it is still his goal to keep the club in the Premier League despite being in the top six after nine games

    Peter Crouch has made just two Premier League starts against Watford but has scored three goals in these two starts.

    Ten different Watford players have scored a Premier League goal this season - a feat only league-leaders Manchester City (also 10) can match.

    Richarlison has been fouled more often than any other player in the Premier League this season (32 fouls won).

    Merson's prediction

    Watford played really well at Chelsea and probably came away from the match thinking, 'How did we get beat there?!'

    They could have been 4-1 up at one stage, they created so many chances. Marco Silva has a strong, physical team and they look really good.

    He has athletes that can play a bit of football too and I think they will have too much for Stoke, who were poor against Bournemouth.

    Paul predicts: 3-1 (Sky Bet odds 16/1)

    Betting

    Watford are a shade of odds-against at 21/20 to get the better of 13/5 shots Stoke, with the draw on offer at 12/5.

    Troy Deeney and Andre Gray share favouritism in the first goalscorer odds at 5/1, while Stoke pair Mame Biram Diouf and Eric Choupo Moting can both be backed at 13/2.

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