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Gianfranco Zola hints Watford could make changes against Cardiff City
Gianfranco Zola has suggested Watford could make changes against Cardiff City tomorrow night due to the club's three games in just over a week.
The Hornets secured a 1-0 victory on Saturday against Peterborough United thanks to a 90th-minute penalty from Matej Vydra and after tomorrow's trip to Cardiff, they travel to Blackburn Rovers at the weekend.
"There may be some changes against Cardiff," head coach Gianfranco Zola said this morning when he spoke to the Watford Observer.
"We have three games in a week so I will consider making changes because we have a few players coming back and we had a very strong bench on Saturday."
Zola confirmed there were no fresh injuries at the weekend and centre back Joel Ekstrand is the only one of those who were absent against Peterborough that could be in contention tomorrow.
Zola said: "John Eustace, Prince Buaben, Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, Neuton and Nyron Nosworthy are all definitely out injured.
"Joel Ekstrand will be assessed. He is training today and we will decide later. All the others are fit and there are no other problems."
There may be more than 150 miles separating Watford and Cardiff but there are strong links between the two clubs.
Former Hornets player and manager Malky Mackay is now in charge of the South Wales side and when he left Watford, he took David Kerslake, Joe McBride, Richard Collinge, Iain Moody and Mark Stow with him. Mackay has also signed several old Watford players in the shape of Heidar Helguson, Tommy Smith, Don Cowie, Andrew Taylor and Jordon Mutch, plus transfer targets Craig Conway, Aron Gunnarsson and Filip Kiss.
Zola admitted he was not aware of the links with Cardiff and stressed it "doesn't change anything; we still want to win".
He said: "Cardiff have an exceptional record at home and it will certainly be a difficult game but you never know in football and especially in this league. Every game is unpredictable.
"They are favourites and are one of the teams many people expect to win the league but you never know in this league."
Nicky Maynard is out for the majority of this season with a cruciate knee ligament injury and Stephen McPhail continues to struggle with Sjogren's Syndrome.
Summer signing Mutch is a doubt but former Liverpool and West Ham United forward Craig Bellamy is expected to return to the starting line-up.