STREAM LIVE >> Watford vs Stoke City Live Stream Championship Online Live Streaming Links Full HD

Up until Boxing Day, the feeling was that everything at Watford was trending in the right direction as they bid to make the playoffs.

However, losing 4-1 at home to Bristol City has put a different spin on things, the Hornets having now only accumulated seven points from five games ahead of the turn of the year.

The perception is that Watford’s often trigger-happy owners are taking an alternative approach in 2023-24, searching for stability, but Valerien Ismael is aware that he needs to keep his team within touching distance of the top six.

As it stands, Watford sit just two points behind that spot, highlighting the missed opportunity of Tuesday, but the chance to bounce back immediately could suit this team.

That said, Watford have failed to prevail in any of their last three fixtures at Vicarage Road, something that will not be lost on their upcoming opponents.

Stoke are in the process of turning a corner having appointed Steven Schumacher as their new boss, yet numerous positives will be taken from the manner of their fixture on Boxing Day.

Despite the struggles of Birmingham City under Wayne Rooney, few would have predicted the Potters racing into a three-goal lead inside 53 minutes before eventually prevailing by a 3-1 scoreline.

While Stoke still sit as low as 18th position, there is now a seven-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone, while they have also avoided defeat since December 9.

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Ismael must find a solution at left-back with Jamal Lewis suffering a hamstring injury, with Jeremy Ngakia potentially deputising on that side of the defence.Ryan Porteous could come into the middle of the backline, while Giorgi

Chakvetadze and Vakoun Bayo will expect starts further forward.There may also be a chance for previous first-choice goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann to be given a run-out between the sticks.Barring any fitness issues,

Schumacher may feel comfortable in selecting the same Stoke starting lineup from the Birmingham game.Although Ben Pearson has returned from a two-match ban, the midfielder is expected to remain among the replacements.

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