Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia ruled out of Blackpool clash after suffering setback with hamstring injury

Watford Observer: Picture: Simon Jacobs Picture: Simon Jacobs

Hornets goalkeeper Manuel Almunia will not feature in this Saturday's match against Blackpool after the Spanish stopper suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

The 35-year-old stopper has missed Watford's last two games against Sheffield Wednesday and Wolverhampton Wanderers but the club hoped he would return this week.

Zola said: “Manuel is not going to be available on Saturday, he has unfortunately had a setback.

"It’s not too bad but he's not going to be able to be part of the team on Saturday.”

When asked how long he thought Almunia would be ruled out for Zola said: “We don’t know that yet.”

Zola also revealed that Fitz Hall will be not available as he is yet to recover from a hamstring strain.

"Fitz hasn't made it yet," he said. "It's taking a little bit longer this time than we thought."

John Eustace, Connor Smith, Prince Buaben and Tommie Hoban are also ruled out but Geoffrey Mujangi Bia trained this week following injury.

New signing Matthew Briggs was not selected for Tuesday night's win over Sheffield Wednesday but Zola said the Fulham loanee will be included in the squad against Blackpool.

"He was fit but he’d just arrived and I thought it was better to give him one game to see how we are and get used to things," said the Watford head coach. "Matthew is definitely involved in the squad for Saturday."

Saturday's clash will be Watford's third game in eight days and Zola is likely to make a few changes.

"Will we make changes? I don't know, we have to consider a few things," he said.

"We are obviously coming towards the end of the season and the games are piling up one after another.

"I will look at where we are tomorrow (Friday) because we have a few players obviously who have a few knocks and we will decide what to do."

After a strong start to the season Blackpool have slipped to 17th in the Championship and have not won in their last five matches but Zola insists it will still be a difficult game.

"They are not in the same position as they were before but they still have quality players," he said.

"It is a different type of team to what we faced on Tuesday (against Sheffield Wednesday) but nevertheless it doesn’t mean it is going to be easier.

"We know we have to perform all the time now so it is a game I respect a lot."

The Watford boss also reserved a word for Tangerines boss Paul Ince, whom Zola played against many times as a player.

"I don’t know him very well as a manager but I know him as a footballer," the Italian said.

"He was a tough guy all the time, a very good player and he has done well not only in this country but also in Italy where he has a very good reputation."

Watford defender Neuton has suffered another injury setback. Click here to find out more.

Comments (22)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:15pm Thu 7 Mar 13

Mr.Miggins says...

Cannot wait for Saturday every single game is huge between now and May. Whatever changes (if any) GZ makes I will trust him.

The fact that he switched formation and made a double sub at half time on Tuesday impressed me and showed he has the bottle and nous to make big (attacking) decisions, something which I wasn't sure he was capable of.

The man is doing a great job
Cannot wait for Saturday every single game is huge between now and May. Whatever changes (if any) GZ makes I will trust him. The fact that he switched formation and made a double sub at half time on Tuesday impressed me and showed he has the bottle and nous to make big (attacking) decisions, something which I wasn't sure he was capable of. The man is doing a great job Mr.Miggins

5:59pm Thu 7 Mar 13

paultheshrink says...

So our man of the match on Tuesday keeps his place in the team. How good is it to be this spoilt for choice across the entire squad?
So our man of the match on Tuesday keeps his place in the team. How good is it to be this spoilt for choice across the entire squad? paultheshrink

6:00pm Thu 7 Mar 13

andyhooked says...

Saturday is crucial for us. Hull playing on Monday I think and Cardiff not having a game. Very tight will go to the last game for whom gets second place. Then we have a good prospect in Bond. "My name is Bond" I feel that Sheff Weds. tested him but apart from that silly back pass 007 did well. LD needs to be there whatever the formation.
Saturday is crucial for us. Hull playing on Monday I think and Cardiff not having a game. Very tight will go to the last game for whom gets second place. Then we have a good prospect in Bond. "My name is Bond" I feel that Sheff Weds. tested him but apart from that silly back pass 007 did well. LD needs to be there whatever the formation. andyhooked

6:16pm Thu 7 Mar 13

DuffmanWFC says...

Bond deserves to keep his place and I expect Chalobah and Fessi to start as they only played 45 mins and I expect Doyley to start too!

My side:
Bond
Ekstrand
Doyley
Nosworthy
Cassetti
Pudil
Chalobah
Abdi
Hogg
Fessi
Deeney

Subs: Vydra, Battocchio, Briggs, Geijo, Anya, Yeates, Bonham
Bond deserves to keep his place and I expect Chalobah and Fessi to start as they only played 45 mins and I expect Doyley to start too! My side: Bond Ekstrand Doyley Nosworthy Cassetti Pudil Chalobah Abdi Hogg Fessi Deeney Subs: Vydra, Battocchio, Briggs, Geijo, Anya, Yeates, Bonham DuffmanWFC

6:18pm Thu 7 Mar 13

hornet88 says...

andyhooked wrote:
Saturday is crucial for us. Hull playing on Monday I think and Cardiff not having a game. Very tight will go to the last game for whom gets second place. Then we have a good prospect in Bond. "My name is Bond" I feel that Sheff Weds. tested him but apart from that silly back pass 007 did well. LD needs to be there whatever the formation.
Agreed about Doyley, Blackpool have some quick attacking players and will want to run at our defence, don't think there's any defender in our squad better than Doyley at 1 on 1s
Bond has done excellent and I have faith that he will perform on Saturday!
[quote][p][bold]andyhooked[/bold] wrote: Saturday is crucial for us. Hull playing on Monday I think and Cardiff not having a game. Very tight will go to the last game for whom gets second place. Then we have a good prospect in Bond. "My name is Bond" I feel that Sheff Weds. tested him but apart from that silly back pass 007 did well. LD needs to be there whatever the formation.[/p][/quote]Agreed about Doyley, Blackpool have some quick attacking players and will want to run at our defence, don't think there's any defender in our squad better than Doyley at 1 on 1s Bond has done excellent and I have faith that he will perform on Saturday! hornet88

6:34pm Thu 7 Mar 13

Feff says...

Duffman - I prefer Battocchio to Hogg, and it's brave but perhaps foolish leaving out Vydra. However, I have every faith in Bond.
Duffman - I prefer Battocchio to Hogg, and it's brave but perhaps foolish leaving out Vydra. However, I have every faith in Bond. Feff

6:42pm Thu 7 Mar 13

mellow yellow says...

More worrying is that Bond's contract expires in the summer, and supposedly several prem clubs are sniffing around. Surely we should sign him now...??
More worrying is that Bond's contract expires in the summer, and supposedly several prem clubs are sniffing around. Surely we should sign him now...?? mellow yellow

7:03pm Thu 7 Mar 13

darrenbazeley says...

i cant remember the last time we had such a capable no2! hes only been starting for 2 weeks and im already hearing rumours of prem teams coming in for him in the summer. am i right in saying thats when his contract expires?? . need LD back in the starting XI for sure.
i cant remember the last time we had such a capable no2! hes only been starting for 2 weeks and im already hearing rumours of prem teams coming in for him in the summer. am i right in saying thats when his contract expires?? . need LD back in the starting XI for sure. darrenbazeley

7:04pm Thu 7 Mar 13

DuffmanWFC says...

I'll expect the club will tie him down on a five year deal, I can't see a prem club being interested in signing a player that's only currently played two and a half championship games!
His future is with us and not on the bench of a bottom six premier side!
I'll expect the club will tie him down on a five year deal, I can't see a prem club being interested in signing a player that's only currently played two and a half championship games! His future is with us and not on the bench of a bottom six premier side! DuffmanWFC

7:53pm Thu 7 Mar 13

c'wood says...

Bond is a great shot stopper. Is he yet a great organiser?

There was a complete lack of coordination/cohesio
n in our defence on Tuesday.

Not sure whether that was because we missed Almunia's rather loud voice or because we missed the comfort of having Doyley sort things out. Whichever it is, I would not want to start without either on Saturday.
Bond is a great shot stopper. Is he yet a great organiser? There was a complete lack of coordination/cohesio n in our defence on Tuesday. Not sure whether that was because we missed Almunia's rather loud voice or because we missed the comfort of having Doyley sort things out. Whichever it is, I would not want to start without either on Saturday. c'wood

8:34pm Thu 7 Mar 13

Stoney77 says...

Bond
Briggs
Ekstrand
Nosworthy
Doyley
Cassetti
Abdi
Chalobah
Battochio
Vydra
Deeney

Subs: Bonham, Yeates, Anya, FF, Geijo, Yeates, Murray.

Anya and FF to be impact subs if we need them
Bond Briggs Ekstrand Nosworthy Doyley Cassetti Abdi Chalobah Battochio Vydra Deeney Subs: Bonham, Yeates, Anya, FF, Geijo, Yeates, Murray. Anya and FF to be impact subs if we need them Stoney77

9:46pm Thu 7 Mar 13

lutondown says...

I'd drop Nosy if Briggs coming in at CH. he's been shaky last few games. Don't know why you'd drop Anya, played on his right side, his pace will frighten defenders. Just my opinion.
But I'll settle for whoever GFZ picks, he's got it right more often than not.
I'd drop Nosy if Briggs coming in at CH. he's been shaky last few games. Don't know why you'd drop Anya, played on his right side, his pace will frighten defenders. Just my opinion. But I'll settle for whoever GFZ picks, he's got it right more often than not. lutondown

7:28am Fri 8 Mar 13

endean2 says...

that man Hall (great player when fit)
has been available for less than half of the games this season.

now I realise that injury is not his fault,
BUT I would think long and hard before a new contract is offered to him.
Pay as you play would be better for the club.
failing that some miracle cure for his multipile physical problems!!
that man Hall (great player when fit) has been available for less than half of the games this season. now I realise that injury is not his fault, BUT I would think long and hard before a new contract is offered to him. Pay as you play would be better for the club. failing that some miracle cure for his multipile physical problems!! endean2

10:53am Fri 8 Mar 13

Harry's Bar says...

Stoney77 wrote:
Bond Briggs Ekstrand Nosworthy Doyley Cassetti Abdi Chalobah Battochio Vydra Deeney Subs: Bonham, Yeates, Anya, FF, Geijo, Yeates, Murray. Anya and FF to be impact subs if we need them
It's difficult when you're not with the players at the training ground, but I would be suprised if he drops Anya. Reading between the lines it looks like Briggs will play, LWB for me.
[quote][p][bold]Stoney77[/bold] wrote: Bond Briggs Ekstrand Nosworthy Doyley Cassetti Abdi Chalobah Battochio Vydra Deeney Subs: Bonham, Yeates, Anya, FF, Geijo, Yeates, Murray. Anya and FF to be impact subs if we need them[/p][/quote]It's difficult when you're not with the players at the training ground, but I would be suprised if he drops Anya. Reading between the lines it looks like Briggs will play, LWB for me. Harry's Bar

11:09am Fri 8 Mar 13

Stoney77 says...

lutondown wrote:
I'd drop Nosy if Briggs coming in at CH. he's been shaky last few games. Don't know why you'd drop Anya, played on his right side, his pace will frighten defenders. Just my opinion.
But I'll settle for whoever GFZ picks, he's got it right more often than not.
Yes Im not sure why I dropped him too, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop Cassetti!! and I fancied taking a look at Briggs on the left although Briggs will most likely be on the bench and GFZ will maybe give him 20/30 mins if all going well. If Briggs is on the bench of course then there’s no place for Pudil in the matchday squad which is a shame as I like his passion. Still, what a great situation to be in and keeps all these players hungry and vital for the run in, and we can keep people fresh.
Also, I agree Nyron could maybe do with a rest as he has been a little bit shaky but I just think we need either him or Hall in that ‘centre centre back’ role so I would keep
[quote][p][bold]lutondown[/bold] wrote: I'd drop Nosy if Briggs coming in at CH. he's been shaky last few games. Don't know why you'd drop Anya, played on his right side, his pace will frighten defenders. Just my opinion. But I'll settle for whoever GFZ picks, he's got it right more often than not.[/p][/quote]Yes Im not sure why I dropped him too, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop Cassetti!! and I fancied taking a look at Briggs on the left although Briggs will most likely be on the bench and GFZ will maybe give him 20/30 mins if all going well. If Briggs is on the bench of course then there’s no place for Pudil in the matchday squad which is a shame as I like his passion. Still, what a great situation to be in and keeps all these players hungry and vital for the run in, and we can keep people fresh. Also, I agree Nyron could maybe do with a rest as he has been a little bit shaky but I just think we need either him or Hall in that ‘centre centre back’ role so I would keep Stoney77

4:26pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sueinspain says...

darrenbazeley wrote:
i cant remember the last time we had such a capable no2! hes only been starting for 2 weeks and im already hearing rumours of prem teams coming in for him in the summer. am i right in saying thats when his contract expires?? . need LD back in the starting XI for sure.
I think that not only do we have a very capable no. 2, but also a very capable n o. 3, in Jack Bonham, continuing the watford tradition of producing great goalkeepers! Bond has also stated in an interview, that he is confident that his contract will be sorted very soon, and has no thoughts of leaving Watford.
I believe he will sign for us , why would he sign for Reading, for example, and end up playing championship next year??
[quote][p][bold]darrenbazeley[/bold] wrote: i cant remember the last time we had such a capable no2! hes only been starting for 2 weeks and im already hearing rumours of prem teams coming in for him in the summer. am i right in saying thats when his contract expires?? . need LD back in the starting XI for sure.[/p][/quote]I think that not only do we have a very capable no. 2, but also a very capable n o. 3, in Jack Bonham, continuing the watford tradition of producing great goalkeepers! Bond has also stated in an interview, that he is confident that his contract will be sorted very soon, and has no thoughts of leaving Watford. I believe he will sign for us , why would he sign for Reading, for example, and end up playing championship next year?? sueinspain

4:31pm Fri 8 Mar 13

lutondown says...

Stoney77 wrote:
lutondown wrote:
I'd drop Nosy if Briggs coming in at CH. he's been shaky last few games. Don't know why you'd drop Anya, played on his right side, his pace will frighten defenders. Just my opinion.
But I'll settle for whoever GFZ picks, he's got it right more often than not.
Yes Im not sure why I dropped him too, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop Cassetti!! and I fancied taking a look at Briggs on the left although Briggs will most likely be on the bench and GFZ will maybe give him 20/30 mins if all going well. If Briggs is on the bench of course then there’s no place for Pudil in the matchday squad which is a shame as I like his passion. Still, what a great situation to be in and keeps all these players hungry and vital for the run in, and we can keep people fresh.
Also, I agree Nyron could maybe do with a rest as he has been a little bit shaky but I just think we need either him or Hall in that ‘centre centre back’ role so I would keep
Drop Cassetti? I agree, vorbatten!
[quote][p][bold]Stoney77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lutondown[/bold] wrote: I'd drop Nosy if Briggs coming in at CH. he's been shaky last few games. Don't know why you'd drop Anya, played on his right side, his pace will frighten defenders. Just my opinion. But I'll settle for whoever GFZ picks, he's got it right more often than not.[/p][/quote]Yes Im not sure why I dropped him too, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop Cassetti!! and I fancied taking a look at Briggs on the left although Briggs will most likely be on the bench and GFZ will maybe give him 20/30 mins if all going well. If Briggs is on the bench of course then there’s no place for Pudil in the matchday squad which is a shame as I like his passion. Still, what a great situation to be in and keeps all these players hungry and vital for the run in, and we can keep people fresh. Also, I agree Nyron could maybe do with a rest as he has been a little bit shaky but I just think we need either him or Hall in that ‘centre centre back’ role so I would keep[/p][/quote]Drop Cassetti? I agree, vorbatten! lutondown

6:18pm Fri 8 Mar 13

abbotshornet says...

vorbatten!?
vorbatten!? abbotshornet

6:23pm Fri 8 Mar 13

lutondown says...

abbotshornet wrote:
vorbatten!?
Haven't a clue. My predictor on phone come up with this. It was meant to say forbidden!
Perhaps Edward Lears dictionary being utilised
[quote][p][bold]abbotshornet[/bold] wrote: vorbatten!?[/p][/quote]Haven't a clue. My predictor on phone come up with this. It was meant to say forbidden! Perhaps Edward Lears dictionary being utilised lutondown

7:20pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Stoney77 says...

lutondown wrote:
abbotshornet wrote:
vorbatten!?
Haven't a clue. My predictor on phone come up with this. It was meant to say forbidden!
Perhaps Edward Lears dictionary being utilised
I thought it was German or something for forbidden! Sounds good I like it? Cassetti ist dropped, ja?..... NEIN!!!, Herr Zola....DAS IST VORBATTEN!!
[quote][p][bold]lutondown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]abbotshornet[/bold] wrote: vorbatten!?[/p][/quote]Haven't a clue. My predictor on phone come up with this. It was meant to say forbidden! Perhaps Edward Lears dictionary being utilised[/p][/quote]I thought it was German or something for forbidden! Sounds good I like it? Cassetti ist dropped, ja?..... NEIN!!!, Herr Zola....DAS IST VORBATTEN!! Stoney77

7:35pm Fri 8 Mar 13

lutondown says...

I think the German word is actually Vorborten or Vorbotten ( haven't mastered English, so don't hold me to that) I have out of bored interest googled Vorbatten, and the only thing that appeared was a quote from a German tourist in USA in a tip dispute! Might have been quoted phonetically?
But lets try again in plain English, Cassetti dropped? Nein mein Gott!
( Gott being GFZ)
I think the German word is actually Vorborten or Vorbotten ( haven't mastered English, so don't hold me to that) I have out of bored interest googled Vorbatten, and the only thing that appeared was a quote from a German tourist in USA in a tip dispute! Might have been quoted phonetically? But lets try again in plain English, Cassetti dropped? Nein mein Gott! ( Gott being GFZ) lutondown

1:56am Sat 9 Mar 13

Stoney77 says...

BUT I WOULD WALK FIVE HUNDRED MILES
AND I WOULD WALK FIVE HUNDRED MORE
JUST TO SEE THE MIGHTY HORNETS PLAY
AND TO SEE MY ALMEN ABDI SCORE
BUT I WOULD WALK FIVE HUNDRED MILES AND I WOULD WALK FIVE HUNDRED MORE JUST TO SEE THE MIGHTY HORNETS PLAY AND TO SEE MY ALMEN ABDI SCORE Stoney77

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree