By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Watford will travel to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday in a clash that will likely feature two Super Eagles stars, Odion Ighalo and Osaze Odemwingie.
While Watford's Ighalo has been regular for club and country in recent games, same cannot be said of Odemwingie who has had some troubled months for Stoke.
Ighalo is the top scorer in all tiers of English club football this calendar year with 21 goals in 26 games, and his manager Quique Sanchez Flores says their hosts must not be allowed to enjoy their football.
The 11th placed Potters are one of the form sides in the division and, after a shaky start to the season, they have won their last three league games but Watford in 15th position in the table haven’t tasted victory since overcoming Newcastle United on September 19th.
“We know a lot about Stoke," Flores said.
“We know they have a good team and they are in a good moment. They’ve recuperated their morale and at home they are a very tough team."
Flores also highlighted the fact that Stoke City's approach to their games have positively changed.
“In the last few years they’ve played in a direct style but under Mark Hughes they have changed a bit. They now try and play the ball on the floor a little bit more.
"They are a very good team and it isn’t easy to play at their stadium. We want to be positive. We have won in tough stadiums, like at Newcastle, so we are ready to win.”
The Spaniard added: “They are a very different team in respect to last week. Arsenal play one way, against Stoke we will be thinking about other things.
“It is important we don’t let Stoke be comfortable and enjoy the game because they are in good form.
“We have to be ready to stop them. I know my players can do it. I am positive. There isn’t a big difference between us in the table, only two points.
“We can go above them if we win and we are capable of winning. We need to try and keep a good performance for 90 minutes. Not just for an hour.”
Much was made of Stoke’s recruitment in the summer as the club managed to clinch the signings of Champions League winners; Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay.
“Stoke have really good players,” Flores said. “Behind the striker they have built a very impressive line with Shaqiri, Bojan and Afellay. They are positive players who can make the difference. Players who have power, skill and are quick.
“We know what the qualities of Stoke and they have improved a lot in the last few matches.”
The game starts 3pm Nigerian time on Saturday.Jiji.ng the cheapest online shopping in Nigeria