Jose Holebas should complete the revival of his Watford career this afternoon by starting at left-back against Tottenham Hotspur.
It would be something of a surprise if Quique Sanchez Flores does not reward the Greece international for his display against Chelsea, which would have won him the official man of the match award had it not been for the late heroics of Heurelho Gomes, by handing him a second successive league start. Nathan Ake is fit and available after being ineligible against his parent club, yet although the Chelsea loanee missed the game through no fault of his own, there is no guarantee he will walk straight back in. Even the fans, in a poll on Twitter, could barely split the two.
The head coach did recall Ake immediately for the game against Spurs in December but, this time you feel, it would take a brave man to tell Holebas he is not playing today, especially after the way he has finally bought into the culture Sanchez Flores has created and Troy Deeney has helped enforce at Vicarage Road. As early as September and as late as mid-December the club were prepared to offload Holebas in the January window because of his general demeanour around the place. Yet the turnaround has been both quick and remarkable.
“He understood very well, in the last month, we are a family and what it means to be at Watford,” Sanchez Flores said. “We are a family, we are a collective target and the most important thing is the pack, the group. Holebas understands this really well now. He’s at a high level, his performance is very good and he is completely focussed. It’s important he keeps focussed.”