Watford vs Tottenham Hotspur- Walter Mazzarri looking above for interventions at Watford



Posted Saturday, December 31, 2016 by PA

Walter Mazzarri admits he may need some divine intervention to bring an end to the injury woes at Watford.

The Hornets have won just one of their last six Premier League games with a long list of absentees threatening to derail what was an impressive start to life under Mazzarri.

Both Daryl Janmaat and Valon Behrami were forced off within the opening 15 minutes of the Boxing Day draw against Crystal Palace, adding to the likes of Roberto Pereyra, Isaac Success, Adrian Mariappa and Ben Watson as players who are unavailable for the New Year's Day meeting with Tottenham.

Miguel Britos is also out due to suspension and there are also doubts over the fitness of Craig Cathcart and Stefano Okaka as Mazzarri's squad is stretched thin.

And the Italian reckons he could end up asking for help from a higher power to prevent any further problems.

"We need a priest to come," he said.

"We are unlucky. Muscle injuries for Success and Okaka, Behrami as well, Pereyra was a knock. Mariappa a problem with the knee. Watson has some family problems, Cathcart has a problem he has had for over six months.

"Here I have explained everything, the only two players that arrived after the pre-season preparation are Success and Okaka and they haven't done the preparations with us, from the rest it has just been unlucky."

Watford's issues have been eased slightly as both Nordin Amrabat and Adlene Guedioura have postponed their departures ahead of next month's African Nations Cup, with the pair being available for both the Spurs and Stoke games.

"We did everything we could, everything possible for Guedioura and Amrabat to play these two games and go to the African Cup of Nations straight after. It would have been difficult without them to find 11 players.

"It is very difficult to say in this moment how things will go, Stoke will have two days of rest before our game and we will have only one. We don't know after Tottenham which players we will have available or not."

Mauricio Pochettino has backed Dele Alli to rule European football for the next decade - and do it all at Tottenham.

Pochettino believes Alli could already command a B£50million transfer fee, but insists the England midfielder is desperate for silverware with Spurs.

Alli has hit 16 goals in his first 50 Premier League games - more than twice the combined tally that Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard mustered in the same time frame.

Pochettino believes 20-year-old Alli's burgeoning career bears favourable comparison with England's finest, and tipped the 15-cap playmaker to keep accelerating his already-rapid development.

"There's no doubt he is and will be one of the best players in England in the next 10, 12 years," said Pochettino.

"And England represents Europe, and maybe the world too.

"The Premier League is the toughest and the best competition in the world.

"And if you are one of the best in England you are one of the best in Europe.

"In one year and a half we've talked a lot, and we can see how he is, as a person, and that's important, and how he's growing up, not only in football.

"For different reasons that crossed different problems, he's improved a lot in his behaviour, in his game, in football.

"Now it's a big challenge for all the opponents to stop Dele Alli.

"He's said he wants success here, he's very happy here, and there's no doubt that he wants to win titles here.

"I am very honest in that situation, sometimes he will joke in the dressing room or on the pitch, but he's very serious.

"Always I hear him say many times 'I want to succeed here, I want to win trophies here'."



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