Watford could be boosted by the return of five players for Saturday's Championship test at Leeds United

Watford Observer: Almen Abdi. Picture: Action Images Almen Abdi. Picture: Action Images

Watford could be boosted by the return of five players for Saturday's Championship clash at Leeds United with Almen Abdi potentially ready to take a place on the bench.

Abdi, Gabriele Angella, Ikechi Anya, Manuel Almunia and Josh McEachran could all come back as Watford look to end a winless run of seven league matches.

Abdi has been out with a foot problem since the end of August but Zola revealed yesterday the influential midfielder is back in traning.

“Abdi trained with me today (Thursday) and he will train with me tomorrow (Friday) and he has looked very good so I am pleased about that,” Zola said.

“He might be available [against Leeds], perhaps not to start, but he might available to be on the bench.”

Manuel Almunia and Josh McEachran have fully recovered from illness and are also available for selection.

Jonathan Bond has impressed in Almunia's absence and Zola praised the youngster's performances.

"Almunia is much better so I am confident I might have him back," he said. "Jonathan Bond has been playing well so I am pleased with that but I knew Jonathan is someone we can rely on. 

"Manuel is okay, he is better and I am sure he wants to be back in the team."

Gabriele Angella and Ikechi Anya could also return after recovering from thigh and calf injuries respectively. Both have trained this week.

Lloyd Doyley (hamstring), Essaid Belkalem (ankle) and Tommie Hoban (ankle) are all however ruled out.

Comments (35)

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5:23pm Thu 5 Dec 13

SwSxTeMPaaH says...

Josh McEachran!
What a boost!
:D
Josh McEachran! What a boost! :D SwSxTeMPaaH

5:23pm Thu 5 Dec 13

CARDIFFHORN says...

Good news, Manny and Chelski loanee can keep bench warm, undecided about Angella, Ikehi straight in, as for AA this is the best news for ages, let's not rush it now, it will be a slow process.
Good news, Manny and Chelski loanee can keep bench warm, undecided about Angella, Ikehi straight in, as for AA this is the best news for ages, let's not rush it now, it will be a slow process. CARDIFFHORN

5:31pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Holywell says...

Ease AA back in, get him ready and 100% for the QPR match.
Ease AA back in, get him ready and 100% for the QPR match. Holywell

5:52pm Thu 5 Dec 13

hogweed says...

No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out hogweed

5:59pm Thu 5 Dec 13

demerit says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground... demerit

6:18pm Thu 5 Dec 13

GoldenManc says...

Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH
Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH GoldenManc

6:25pm Thu 5 Dec 13

mickallen57 says...

Keep it tight at the back and bring it on bring it on.

COYH
Keep it tight at the back and bring it on bring it on. COYH mickallen57

6:47pm Thu 5 Dec 13

micksolly says...

Holywell wrote:
Ease AA back in, get him ready and 100% for the QPR match.
Hopefully bench for Abdi this week and a starting place next week against Wednesday.
[quote][p][bold]Holywell[/bold] wrote: Ease AA back in, get him ready and 100% for the QPR match.[/p][/quote]Hopefully bench for Abdi this week and a starting place next week against Wednesday. micksolly

6:53pm Thu 5 Dec 13

HunsburyHornet4 says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
That's not the slightest bit funny or clever. Try something else.
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]That's not the slightest bit funny or clever. Try something else. HunsburyHornet4

6:53pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Hornet Cornet says...

GoldenManc wrote:
Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH
have you forgotten the last home game of the standard season?
[quote][p][bold]GoldenManc[/bold] wrote: Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH[/p][/quote]have you forgotten the last home game of the standard season? Hornet Cornet

6:58pm Thu 5 Dec 13

HunsburyHornet4 says...

Good news, but who to leave out? I was at Burnley, and the whole team gave 100%. I was extremely proud of the boys, and also to our supporters who were singing throughout the match. Well done to the players who came up and acknowledged us after the match.
Good news, but who to leave out? I was at Burnley, and the whole team gave 100%. I was extremely proud of the boys, and also to our supporters who were singing throughout the match. Well done to the players who came up and acknowledged us after the match. HunsburyHornet4

7:00pm Thu 5 Dec 13

mellow yellow says...

AA BACK is awesome, awesome news. A great early Christmas present. However, I wouldn't play him against dirty Leeds. It's asking for trouble.
AA BACK is awesome, awesome news. A great early Christmas present. However, I wouldn't play him against dirty Leeds. It's asking for trouble. mellow yellow

7:20pm Thu 5 Dec 13

sgevans says...

I would play Almunia for his experience against a team like Leeds. I would also stick with a back 4 and Deeney upfront alone supported by midfield. I would not risk Abdi and work hold Anya on the bench for 30 minutes of mahem if needed at the end.
I would play Almunia for his experience against a team like Leeds. I would also stick with a back 4 and Deeney upfront alone supported by midfield. I would not risk Abdi and work hold Anya on the bench for 30 minutes of mahem if needed at the end. sgevans

7:56pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Stoney77 says...

Blimey. Great news all round. Almen Abdi's return to training is the best news since sliced bread. Well happy with that. Big selection choices to be made now for Zola, all over the park. Can envisage a ridiculously strong bench on Sat, what with good performances on Tuesday meriting the players keeping their places and many of the returnees being eased back in via the bench. COYH.
Blimey. Great news all round. Almen Abdi's return to training is the best news since sliced bread. Well happy with that. Big selection choices to be made now for Zola, all over the park. Can envisage a ridiculously strong bench on Sat, what with good performances on Tuesday meriting the players keeping their places and many of the returnees being eased back in via the bench. COYH. Stoney77

8:16pm Thu 5 Dec 13

pizinloc says...

I would say play a solid back 4, then play the most attacking line-up possible. We need to just go for it - get some scoring confidence back and not go there for the draw.

Leeds are plaing very very well at present though....
I would say play a solid back 4, then play the most attacking line-up possible. We need to just go for it - get some scoring confidence back and not go there for the draw. Leeds are plaing very very well at present though.... pizinloc

8:45pm Thu 5 Dec 13

anywayasiwasaying says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
Have to say those comments really do confirm that hogweed is a WUM. Nobody with half a brain would want the chuckle brothers anywhere near their club
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]Have to say those comments really do confirm that hogweed is a WUM. Nobody with half a brain would want the chuckle brothers anywhere near their club anywayasiwasaying

8:52pm Thu 5 Dec 13

anywayasiwasaying says...

GoldenManc wrote:
Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH
Love the optimism but we must be careful to manage expectations and not get carried away. A scruffy goal off the backside of any dirty Leeds player in the ninety third minute will do me - hope you're right though.
[quote][p][bold]GoldenManc[/bold] wrote: Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH[/p][/quote]Love the optimism but we must be careful to manage expectations and not get carried away. A scruffy goal off the backside of any dirty Leeds player in the ninety third minute will do me - hope you're right though. anywayasiwasaying

9:29pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Napalm Pudding says...

Amen. Abdi. Thank God.
Amen. Abdi. Thank God. Napalm Pudding

10:43pm Thu 5 Dec 13

stevemag says...

Almunia is frightened of Leeds - look what happened last home match of the season. Mystery sore hamstring just before kick off and then miraculous recovery to play only a few days later against Leicester away.....

Bond for me
Almunia is frightened of Leeds - look what happened last home match of the season. Mystery sore hamstring just before kick off and then miraculous recovery to play only a few days later against Leicester away..... Bond for me stevemag

11:31pm Thu 5 Dec 13

D.unstable says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
What a complete numpty you are!!! Do you just do it just for the attention?
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]What a complete numpty you are!!! Do you just do it just for the attention? D.unstable

11:39pm Thu 5 Dec 13

matey_from_brighton says...

Great news for us that Abdi could be back for Leeds along with the others - will definitely lift both the players and the supporters. He has the guile around the penalty box to get the ball into the feet of Deeney and Forestieri where they can cause lots of problems to the oppo. He may not feature too much on Saturday but if he is ready to start against SW our home form could turn around.

COYH.
Great news for us that Abdi could be back for Leeds along with the others - will definitely lift both the players and the supporters. He has the guile around the penalty box to get the ball into the feet of Deeney and Forestieri where they can cause lots of problems to the oppo. He may not feature too much on Saturday but if he is ready to start against SW our home form could turn around. COYH. matey_from_brighton

11:50pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Hornet Cornet says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
Fantastic score of -110.

Does this reflect your I.Q too?
Ha ha
Corneticus
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]Fantastic score of -110. Does this reflect your I.Q too? Ha ha Corneticus Hornet Cornet

12:06am Fri 6 Dec 13

lockerbiehornet says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
COMPLETE MUG
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]COMPLETE MUG lockerbiehornet

1:38am Fri 6 Dec 13

GoldenManc says...

anywayasiwasaying wrote:
GoldenManc wrote:
Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH
Love the optimism but we must be careful to manage expectations and not get carried away. A scruffy goal off the backside of any dirty Leeds player in the ninety third minute will do me - hope you're right though.
Nah - we will smash them - I'm putting bets on 4-1 ,4-0 & 5-1 COYH - if you want reason why - here's why

1) Angella,Anya & Abdi all back
2) 4-2-3-1 will surprise them
3) Anya will play Left Midfield - which will suit him
4) We are due a result & a bit of luck
5) Last years result - happy hunting ground
6) We are the Mighty Hornets
[quote][p][bold]anywayasiwasaying[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GoldenManc[/bold] wrote: Be afraid Leeds - time for another thrashing - COYH[/p][/quote]Love the optimism but we must be careful to manage expectations and not get carried away. A scruffy goal off the backside of any dirty Leeds player in the ninety third minute will do me - hope you're right though.[/p][/quote]Nah - we will smash them - I'm putting bets on 4-1 ,4-0 & 5-1 COYH - if you want reason why - here's why 1) Angella,Anya & Abdi all back 2) 4-2-3-1 will surprise them 3) Anya will play Left Midfield - which will suit him 4) We are due a result & a bit of luck 5) Last years result - happy hunting ground 6) We are the Mighty Hornets GoldenManc

7:55am Fri 6 Dec 13

demerit says...

Hornet Cornet wrote:
hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
Fantastic score of -110.

Does this reflect your I.Q too?
Ha ha
Corneticus
No, it is a wind up, and the score (-128 as I type btw) shows that he is doing just that!
[quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]Fantastic score of -110. Does this reflect your I.Q too? Ha ha Corneticus[/p][/quote]No, it is a wind up, and the score (-128 as I type btw) shows that he is doing just that! demerit

8:52am Fri 6 Dec 13

jasonwatford says...

Thank the lord for Alman Abdi
Thank the lord for Alman Abdi jasonwatford

8:53am Fri 6 Dec 13

watford1881 says...

Good news for us.. Anybody coming back in is a bonus.. We need to get on a run over the Christmas period...
Good news for us.. Anybody coming back in is a bonus.. We need to get on a run over the Christmas period... watford1881

8:58am Fri 6 Dec 13

Harry's Bar says...

demerit wrote:
hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...
Stone(y) the crows, he's up to 134!
[quote][p][bold]demerit[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...[/p][/quote]Stone(y) the crows, he's up to 134! Harry's Bar

9:13am Fri 6 Dec 13

grahamwfc says...

So Bondy comes in, shows real assurance and keeps a clean sheet, only to be told Almuniah is back in. WTF message does that send to players trying to break into the team. If you come in and do the business it should be "possession is 9/10's.
Almuniah has made two horrendous clangers of late and then bemoans those in front of him before spitting his dummy at halftime and walking. I'm sure the defence play better with Bondy behind and that coupled with a more solid 4 at the back is the way forward for now.
DONT CHANGE A WINNING TEAM UNLESS IT IMPROVES THE SIDE; BUILD SOME CONTINUITY. Yes for sure, bring back in Abdi as that would be obvious strengthening, but the keeper is a toss of a coin decision surely and Bond for now has the shirt. LEARN FROM YOUR PAST SELECTION MISTAKES.
So Bondy comes in, shows real assurance and keeps a clean sheet, only to be told Almuniah is back in. WTF message does that send to players trying to break into the team. If you come in and do the business it should be "possession is 9/10's. Almuniah has made two horrendous clangers of late and then bemoans those in front of him before spitting his dummy at halftime and walking. I'm sure the defence play better with Bondy behind and that coupled with a more solid 4 at the back is the way forward for now. DONT CHANGE A WINNING TEAM UNLESS IT IMPROVES THE SIDE; BUILD SOME CONTINUITY. Yes for sure, bring back in Abdi as that would be obvious strengthening, but the keeper is a toss of a coin decision surely and Bond for now has the shirt. LEARN FROM YOUR PAST SELECTION MISTAKES. grahamwfc

9:17am Fri 6 Dec 13

demerit says...

Harry's Bar wrote:
demerit wrote:
hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...
Stone(y) the crows, he's up to 134!
I have to admit, I am envious of him now - the highest I ever got was minus 75.
[quote][p][bold]Harry's Bar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]demerit[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...[/p][/quote]Stone(y) the crows, he's up to 134![/p][/quote]I have to admit, I am envious of him now - the highest I ever got was minus 75. demerit

9:22am Fri 6 Dec 13

Stoney77 says...

Harry's Bar wrote:
demerit wrote:
hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...
Stone(y) the crows, he's up to 134!
134 not out, good work Hoggy!..............
.If only the English batsmen could conjur up some similar scores............ In fact, Hogweed, are you Australian by any chance?
[quote][p][bold]Harry's Bar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]demerit[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]I think your post will fall on Stoney77 ground...[/p][/quote]Stone(y) the crows, he's up to 134![/p][/quote]134 not out, good work Hoggy!.............. .If only the English batsmen could conjur up some similar scores............ In fact, Hogweed, are you Australian by any chance? Stoney77

9:23am Fri 6 Dec 13

Drewoneone says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
The thing is these posts by hogweed are a wind up and a waste of space. No need to respond to them just ignore it. Oh blimey....I've just responded and used up more space!
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]The thing is these posts by hogweed are a wind up and a waste of space. No need to respond to them just ignore it. Oh blimey....I've just responded and used up more space! Drewoneone

9:50am Fri 6 Dec 13

demerit says...

Drewoneone wrote:
hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
The thing is these posts by hogweed are a wind up and a waste of space. No need to respond to them just ignore it. Oh blimey....I've just responded and used up more space!
Come on everyone! Its minus 146 now - let's push it to minus 200!
[quote][p][bold]Drewoneone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]The thing is these posts by hogweed are a wind up and a waste of space. No need to respond to them just ignore it. Oh blimey....I've just responded and used up more space![/p][/quote]Come on everyone! Its minus 146 now - let's push it to minus 200! demerit

10:05am Fri 6 Dec 13

Goldenboy1960 says...

Yes great news about Abdi, but please learn a lesson about expectation. He has been out for 3 months and will take time to get back into it and get prpoerly match fit by playing games. I hope he sticks with a back 4 where teams can't get down the side of us so easily. Will be interesting.
Yes great news about Abdi, but please learn a lesson about expectation. He has been out for 3 months and will take time to get back into it and get prpoerly match fit by playing games. I hope he sticks with a back 4 where teams can't get down the side of us so easily. Will be interesting. Goldenboy1960

5:56pm Fri 6 Dec 13

paultheshrink says...

hogweed wrote:
No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible.

I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit.

Hog out
-195 and counting! You have to laugh at this - I know I did.
[quote][p][bold]hogweed[/bold] wrote: No excuses now Zola. As I have said before zero goasl in the last three games is risible. I think a change in manager to someone like Holloway or Warnock would be a good move. They really get stuck in and would apply some English grit. Hog out[/p][/quote]-195 and counting! You have to laugh at this - I know I did. paultheshrink

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