Fitz Hall fit to return for Watford as Lloyd Doyley and Jonathan Hogg miss Blackpool trip

Picture: Pippa Douglas

Picture: Pippa Douglas

First published in Watford FC News by

Fitz Hall has provided Watford with a timely boost as the commanding centre-half should be fit to start against Blackpool and replace the injured Lloyd Doyley.

Doyley has quickly become an established member of the Hornets’ back three but the 29-year-old was forced off last weekend with a calf injury.

Head coach Gianfranco Zola confirmed: “I do not think Lloyd will be playing on Saturday but his injury is not as bad as we thought. Hopefully he will be back in training next week.”

With Nyron Nosworthy, Neuton and Doyley out injured, the news of Hall's return to fitness following his hamstring injury is welcome news for Zola.

“Fitz Hall is fine and has trained a few times so he should be available,” the Italian confirmed.

Watford played a behind-closed-doors friendly with Brighton and Hove Albion midweek (see Page 55) but Zola said there were no fresh injuries.

He added: “I do not think Almen Abdi will be available for this game, hopefully he will train next week.

“Prince Buaben trained with others for the first time today (Thursday) and he should be back involved fully on Monday.

“Neuton will train with us tomorrow (Friday) but obviously he hasn’t been training so he won’t be available.”

Another player who certainly won’t feature at Bloomfield Road is Jonathan Hogg.

The combative midfielder has missed just one game this season – the 2-2 draw with Bristol City in September – but is suspended and Zola admits he will be hard to replace.

He said: “Jonathan has been very impressive for us this season. We will miss him because of the work he puts in for the team.

“We will try to find a player who can give the team the same qualities. It will not be easy but we will look to do that.”

Watford switched to a 4-3-3 formation for the second half against Wolverhampton Wanderers but have been predominantly using 3-5-2 in recent months.

Zola has admitted players such as Sean Murray and Ikechi Anya have suffered because of the new system in the past and summer signing Geoffrey Mujangi Bia is the latest one to be added to that list.

The former Wolves loanee has been injured for most of his time at Vicarage Road but is fit once again and scored with a 25-yard strike in this week’s friendly.

However, Zola said: “His fitness is much better now but his situation is the same as players like Ikechi. We have changed the system and he is one of those who have been penalised because of it.

“He is trying to adapt to the new system and he is doing better. If he can fit into the new system then he will have his chance.

“He scored in the friendly in the week and showed he has potential but whether he is ready to play in the new position and system, I am not sure. I will have to consider it.”

Blackpool are three points and one place behind Watford, who are 11th, and have drawn the first two games under new manager Michael Appleton, against Bristol City and Bolton Wanderers.

Zola stated: “We will pay respect to them and what they do, and we will be aware of the changes they may have made since the new manager arrived. But it is important that we focus on how we play.

“Whilst you must pay respect to the opposition, it is important we do the normal things that we do on the pitch and the problems we can cause.”

Blackpool will be without two of their regular starters in Matty Phillips and Gary Taylor-Fletcher through injuries but apart from that, they have a fully fit squad.

Former Watford striker Kevin Phillips started the last match following injury and could do the same again, however, Pool did sign Wes Thomas from Bournemouth on loan until January 1 yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

Comments (19)

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9:23am Fri 23 Nov 12

aefevans says...

Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Pudil
Cassetti
Smith
Yeates
Chalobah
Deeney
Forestieri

Bond
Thompson
Anya
Murray
Battochio
Vydra
Geijo
Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Pudil Cassetti Smith Yeates Chalobah Deeney Forestieri Bond Thompson Anya Murray Battochio Vydra Geijo aefevans
  • Score: 0

9:37am Fri 23 Nov 12

AngelHornet says...

aefevans wrote:
Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Pudil
Cassetti
Smith
Yeates
Chalobah
Deeney
Forestieri

Bond
Thompson
Anya
Murray
Battochio
Vydra
Geijo
That's the most likely line-up, although GZ may opt for Vydra as it's an away game
[quote][p][bold]aefevans[/bold] wrote: Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Pudil Cassetti Smith Yeates Chalobah Deeney Forestieri Bond Thompson Anya Murray Battochio Vydra Geijo[/p][/quote]That's the most likely line-up, although GZ may opt for Vydra as it's an away game AngelHornet
  • Score: 0

9:55am Fri 23 Nov 12

jasonwatford says...

Vydra,Geijo and Battochio will start
Vydra,Geijo and Battochio will start jasonwatford
  • Score: 0

10:11am Fri 23 Nov 12

Harrydownunder says...

Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?
Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped? Harrydownunder
  • Score: 0

10:30am Fri 23 Nov 12

Bringe says...

Keep the 3-5-2, it's rarely seen in this league and everyone seems to struggle against it. At sometime or another we're bound to need a plan B but I can't see why we should be in a hurry, we can still showcase our forwards for the summer window.
Keep the 3-5-2, it's rarely seen in this league and everyone seems to struggle against it. At sometime or another we're bound to need a plan B but I can't see why we should be in a hurry, we can still showcase our forwards for the summer window. Bringe
  • Score: 0

10:33am Fri 23 Nov 12

Watford Willie says...

Harrydownunder wrote:
Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?
???
[quote][p][bold]Harrydownunder[/bold] wrote: Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?[/p][/quote]??? Watford Willie
  • Score: 0

10:34am Fri 23 Nov 12

Holly68 says...

Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Cassetti
Pudil
Chalobah
Battochio
Forestieri
Vydra
Deeney

Bond
Murray
Anya
Yeates
Thompson
Geijo
Beleck
Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Battochio Forestieri Vydra Deeney Bond Murray Anya Yeates Thompson Geijo Beleck Holly68
  • Score: 0

10:35am Fri 23 Nov 12

Watfordwes says...

Based on zola's words of looking for like for like replacement with Hogg it could be Battochio who is renowned for being very combative in Italy. However given his limited opportunities he seems way down the pecking order so it would be brave to throw him in unless he really starred v Brighton.

Given that neither Hogg nor chabs started v Leeds therefore no natural holding midfielder and a very positive result I'm pretty confident he trusts Yeates and Smith and they will get the nod with chabs tomorrow.
Based on zola's words of looking for like for like replacement with Hogg it could be Battochio who is renowned for being very combative in Italy. However given his limited opportunities he seems way down the pecking order so it would be brave to throw him in unless he really starred v Brighton. Given that neither Hogg nor chabs started v Leeds therefore no natural holding midfielder and a very positive result I'm pretty confident he trusts Yeates and Smith and they will get the nod with chabs tomorrow. Watfordwes
  • Score: 0

10:39am Fri 23 Nov 12

Holly68 says...

Holly68 wrote:
Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Cassetti
Pudil
Chalobah
Battochio
Forestieri
Vydra
Deeney

Bond
Murray
Anya
Yeates
Thompson
Geijo
Beleck
This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two

How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Battochio Forestieri Vydra Deeney Bond Murray Anya Yeates Thompson Geijo Beleck[/p][/quote]This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two How abouts that Mr Z (a third way) Holly68
  • Score: 0

11:05am Fri 23 Nov 12

Holly68 says...

With all the injuries, a squad of 25 next season will be too thin IMO

I think we need

3 Keepers
7 Centre Halves
4 wingbacks
6 midfielders
6 Forwards
4 wingers

Squad of 29/30 should suffice next season

So who should they be ??????

3 Keepers (Almunia, Bond, Bonhom)

7 Centre Halves (Nosworthy, Hall, Ekstrand, Neuton, Hoban, Doyley, Thompson)

4 Wingbacks (Cassetti, Pudil, new, new)

6 Midfielders (Eustace, Battochio, Abdi, Hogg, good loan, new)

6 Forwards ( Fessi, Deeney, Vydra, Geijo, Mensah, new)

4 Wingers (Anya, Murray, Mbia, new)


6 new top quality players to come in, a right and left wingback, 2 midfielders, a striker and winger (5 if we can keep Chalobah)

I'd love Buckley back as a winger, Graham back as a striker, another Abdi standard midfielder with Chalobah back on loan and/or the guy at Millwall in midfield Trotter

Then two wingbacks, that's hard to fill, continent for those slots ....

Anyway Mr Z over to you
With all the injuries, a squad of 25 next season will be too thin IMO I think we need 3 Keepers 7 Centre Halves 4 wingbacks 6 midfielders 6 Forwards 4 wingers Squad of 29/30 should suffice next season So who should they be ?????? 3 Keepers (Almunia, Bond, Bonhom) 7 Centre Halves (Nosworthy, Hall, Ekstrand, Neuton, Hoban, Doyley, Thompson) 4 Wingbacks (Cassetti, Pudil, new, new) 6 Midfielders (Eustace, Battochio, Abdi, Hogg, good loan, new) 6 Forwards ( Fessi, Deeney, Vydra, Geijo, Mensah, new) 4 Wingers (Anya, Murray, Mbia, new) 6 new top quality players to come in, a right and left wingback, 2 midfielders, a striker and winger (5 if we can keep Chalobah) I'd love Buckley back as a winger, Graham back as a striker, another Abdi standard midfielder with Chalobah back on loan and/or the guy at Millwall in midfield Trotter Then two wingbacks, that's hard to fill, continent for those slots .... Anyway Mr Z over to you Holly68
  • Score: 0

11:07am Fri 23 Nov 12

DuffmanWFC says...

Personally I would like to see Vydra and Geijo start up front with Bottachio in midfield replacing Hogg! And Murray in as no Abdi

Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Pudil
Cassetti
Chalobah
Battochio
Murray
Vydra
Geijo

Bond
Foresteri
Deeney
Yeates
Anya
Thompson
Smith
Personally I would like to see Vydra and Geijo start up front with Bottachio in midfield replacing Hogg! And Murray in as no Abdi Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Pudil Cassetti Chalobah Battochio Murray Vydra Geijo Bond Foresteri Deeney Yeates Anya Thompson Smith DuffmanWFC
  • Score: 0

11:19am Fri 23 Nov 12

francowatford says...

I think everyone should get back to work and stop going on these forums
I think everyone should get back to work and stop going on these forums francowatford
  • Score: 0

11:28am Fri 23 Nov 12

Watfordwes says...

Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Cassetti
Pudil
Chalobah
Battochio
Forestieri
Vydra
Deeney

Bond
Murray
Anya
Yeates
Thompson
Geijo
Beleck
This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two

How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)
Same formation he tried second half v Peterborough chasing the win and had to sub forestieri late as we lost midfield. (And scored once we went back to conventional)

He isn't going to play forestieri in abdi role in 3 5 2 or vydra and forestieri in 4 3 3 unless we are chasing the game as we look so much more solid with 3 5 2 with three conventional midfielders. It's disappointing as we all want to see flare but Zola is being practical.

Remember when Chelsea would not play vialli Hughes and Zola together despite obvious talent and zola's ability to drop deep.

It leaves you too open!
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Battochio Forestieri Vydra Deeney Bond Murray Anya Yeates Thompson Geijo Beleck[/p][/quote]This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)[/p][/quote]Same formation he tried second half v Peterborough chasing the win and had to sub forestieri late as we lost midfield. (And scored once we went back to conventional) He isn't going to play forestieri in abdi role in 3 5 2 or vydra and forestieri in 4 3 3 unless we are chasing the game as we look so much more solid with 3 5 2 with three conventional midfielders. It's disappointing as we all want to see flare but Zola is being practical. Remember when Chelsea would not play vialli Hughes and Zola together despite obvious talent and zola's ability to drop deep. It leaves you too open! Watfordwes
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Fri 23 Nov 12

WatfordTalk says...

Watfordwes wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote: Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Battochio Forestieri Vydra Deeney Bond Murray Anya Yeates Thompson Geijo Beleck
This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)
Same formation he tried second half v Peterborough chasing the win and had to sub forestieri late as we lost midfield. (And scored once we went back to conventional) He isn't going to play forestieri in abdi role in 3 5 2 or vydra and forestieri in 4 3 3 unless we are chasing the game as we look so much more solid with 3 5 2 with three conventional midfielders. It's disappointing as we all want to see flare but Zola is being practical. Remember when Chelsea would not play vialli Hughes and Zola together despite obvious talent and zola's ability to drop deep. It leaves you too open!
Quadruple post!
[quote][p][bold]Watfordwes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Battochio Forestieri Vydra Deeney Bond Murray Anya Yeates Thompson Geijo Beleck[/p][/quote]This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)[/p][/quote]Same formation he tried second half v Peterborough chasing the win and had to sub forestieri late as we lost midfield. (And scored once we went back to conventional) He isn't going to play forestieri in abdi role in 3 5 2 or vydra and forestieri in 4 3 3 unless we are chasing the game as we look so much more solid with 3 5 2 with three conventional midfielders. It's disappointing as we all want to see flare but Zola is being practical. Remember when Chelsea would not play vialli Hughes and Zola together despite obvious talent and zola's ability to drop deep. It leaves you too open![/p][/quote]Quadruple post! WatfordTalk
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Fri 23 Nov 12

endean2 says...

thats a record, get your finger stuck?
thats a record, get your finger stuck? endean2
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Watfordwes says...

somethings just need repeating!!!!
somethings just need repeating!!!! Watfordwes
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Andrew1963 says...

Watford Willie wrote:
Harrydownunder wrote:
Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?
???
I expect Harry is unaware that Doyley limped off against Wolves. Hall was injured and substituted previously - so both genuine injuries.
[quote][p][bold]Watford Willie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Harrydownunder[/bold] wrote: Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?[/p][/quote]???[/p][/quote]I expect Harry is unaware that Doyley limped off against Wolves. Hall was injured and substituted previously - so both genuine injuries. Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Fri 23 Nov 12

lutondown says...

Andrew1963 wrote:
Watford Willie wrote:
Harrydownunder wrote:
Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?
???
I expect Harry is unaware that Doyley limped off against Wolves. Hall was injured and substituted previously - so both genuine injuries.
Yes but why get it the way of some good old conspiracy stuff?
Sometimes an egg is just that, an egg.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew1963[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Watford Willie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Harrydownunder[/bold] wrote: Anyone else noticed that players seem to be "injured" and not dropped?[/p][/quote]???[/p][/quote]I expect Harry is unaware that Doyley limped off against Wolves. Hall was injured and substituted previously - so both genuine injuries.[/p][/quote]Yes but why get it the way of some good old conspiracy stuff? Sometimes an egg is just that, an egg. lutondown
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Fri 23 Nov 12

MINTYHORNET says...

Holly68 wrote:
Holly68 wrote:
Almunia
Hall
Hoban
Ekstrand
Cassetti
Pudil
Chalobah
Battochio
Forestieri
Vydra
Deeney

Bond
Murray
Anya
Yeates
Thompson
Geijo
Beleck
This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two

How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)
Not sure bout beleck he keeps hinting on twitter that hes going back to udine.
[quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Holly68[/bold] wrote: Almunia Hall Hoban Ekstrand Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Battochio Forestieri Vydra Deeney Bond Murray Anya Yeates Thompson Geijo Beleck[/p][/quote]This is 3-4-1-2 Fessi in behind front two How abouts that Mr Z (a third way)[/p][/quote]Not sure bout beleck he keeps hinting on twitter that hes going back to udine. MINTYHORNET
  • Score: 0

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