LONDON SATSports – Watford lost their sixth consecutive match in the English Premier League on New Year’s Day after conceding a late goal in a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road.
William Troost-Ekong got much needed game time before heading off to Abuja to link up with his international teammates at their training camp, going ninety against his former employers, and joining the central defender in the Hornets starting lineup was striker Emmanuel Dennis.
Watford stood firm in pursuit of their first clean sheet of the season until stoppage time when Davinson Sanchez made the Tottenham Hotspur pressure pay, nodding in from close range an excellent delivery from Heung-min Son.
All eyes were on Dennis this afternoon following his withdrawal from the Nigeria squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations but the club’s most influential player so far this season had to make way for João Pedro at halftime.
Watford manager Claudio Ranieri stressed post-match that Dennis was substituted because he was trying to prevent the striker from aggravating a minor injury.
Speaking to Match of the Day, the Italian said : “He had a little problem, then I saw him a little nervous, so I prefer to change him and Joao Pedro played very well.
“The board spoke with the national team of Nigeria, that is it finished. Maybe disappointed, all the players want to go to play for their national team, but also want to stay here – a little bit disappointed, a little bit happy to stay here”.
Dennis has not featured for the Super Eagles since coming off the bench against Sierra Leone in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on November 17, 2020.