STOKE, England — A meeting between teams with two of the worst defensive records in the Premier League promised goals but Stoke and Watford defied the odds in a 0-0 draw on Wednesday.

Stoke is out of the relegation zone after a second consecutive clean sheet under new manager Paul Lambert, a feat it hadn’t managed since March 2017.

Watford, playing its first league game with new coach Javi Gracia in charge, will also be relieved to have kept a rare clean sheet. The Hornets had conceded 44 goals going into the game — along with Huddersfield — and Stoke a league-worst 50.

Stoke looked the more likely to break the deadlock as Xherdan Shaqiri and Mame Biram Diouf wasted first-half openings, before substitute Peter Crouch missed Stoke’s best chance after the break.

Watford did have a chance to steal the points late on, as Abdoulaye Doucoure had his shot blocked before Richarlison missed from close range.

Stoke moves up to 16th on 24 points, while Watford is 11th with 27 points.

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