Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
International call-ups will penalise Watford ahead of televised Crystal Palace clash
Watford will be “penalised” next week because their success has led to several international call-ups – with a number of the players set to feature for their country less than 48 hours before the Hornets face Crystal Palace next Friday (February 8) night.
Matej Vydra, Daniel Pudil and Joel Ekstrand could all line-up for their relevant countries on Wednesday night and Nyron Nosworthy is in contention to play for Jamaica in the early hours of Thursday morning GMT.
Watford’s home game with Crystal Palace next Friday was brought forward due to it being televised on Sky Sports and, including travel time, these players will find it extremely difficult to regain 100 per cent fitness before the Championship match.
Zola said: “Those players won’t be ruled out of the match but obviously it will be an inconvenience because in some ways we will be penalised because we have quite a few players who are going to play for their national teams.
“It is frustrating but that is the way it is, we cannot complain, we have to just make the most of it. I certainly cannot say that I am 100 per cent happy about it but I can’t do anything – complaining doesn’t help anything so we will make the most of it.”
Ekstrand, pictured, could line up against the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero as Sweden take on Argentina in a friendly in Stockholm next Wednesday.
Vydra and Pudil are also in line to play after the duo were called up to play for the Czech Republic against Turkey on the same night, while Nosworthy joins the Jamaica squad for a friendly against Mexico.
Nathaniel Chalobah is included in England’s Under-21 squad for next Tuesday’s friendly against Sweden.
Sean Murray and Connor Smith have both been selected for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-21 squad, who take on Holland, while Cristian Battocchio has been called up for Italy Under-20s, who face Germany.
Tommie Hoban has been named in the Republic of Ireland U19s squad to play two friendlies against the Czech Republic, despite the player only returning to individual training this week.
The Irish will face the Czechs in Longford next Tuesday and again in Athlone two days later as they prepare for the UEFA Championships elite qualifying round in June.