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Gianfranco Zola sees Reading clash as a chance for Watford to gauge their progress
Gianfranco Zola believes the trip to Reading will provide Watford with a chance to gauge their development as they face a side who were plying their trade in the Premier League three months ago.
The Hornets hope to be in English football’s top flight this time next year and Reading have retained most of the squad who were relegated by 11 points last season.
Watford maintained their 100 per cent record for this season on Saturday when they won their third game of the season 6-1 against Bournemouth.
But Zola stressed: “I think it will be a good test for us because they are one of the teams down from the Premier League.
“I believe they are a good team who are organised and we will be able to judge our level against them.”
Watford should have no fresh injury concerns as Zola faces Nigel Adkins for the first time.
Marco Cassetti had a minor foot problem this week but, speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Gianfranco Zola said he does not expect it to be an issue.
Tommie Hoban and Nyron Nosworthy remain long-term absentees for the Hornets and new signing Essaid Belkalem is unlikely to feature as he settles at his new club.
Reading are also in good shape injury wise. Jason Roberts and Jimmy Kebe remain out for the Royals but they had no other injury problems as of Wednesday.
Former Hornet Adrian Mariappa was one of the Royals’ better players during their Premier League campaign but he has not been in either of their squads so far this season due to selection reasons according to Adkins.
Watford will be well supported for their brief trip along the M4 as there had been 3,073 away tickets sold when we went to print yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.
The away allocation is 4,000 and fans will be able to buy tickets over the phone until midday today (Friday) and will then have to collect them from Vicarage Road.
Tickets will be on sale at the ground on the day, although the price will increase to £30.
Reading are expecting more than 20,000 supporters inside the Madejski Stadium tomorrow (Saturday).
This article was from today's Watford Observer and uploaded last night so some figures and information may have changed since then.
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