Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Watford striker Troy Deeney could make a return to first team action against Bristol City
Troy Deeney could make a surprise return to action at the weekend as the striker, who was only released from prison last week, is in contention for a place on the bench to face Bristol City.
Deeney played 45 minutes for a Watford XI on Wednesday and head coach Gianfranco Zola admits he was surprised by the player’s level of fitness.
Zola said: “Troy Deeney did very well in my opinion. It was the first game he had played since his return and I was not expecting him to be at that level yet, so I was pleased with his performance. It was very encouraging.
“He might be available to be on the bench on Saturday and we will consider it tomorrow (Friday),” he admitted.
Fitz Hall and Stephen McGinn also returned during the friendly with Queens Park Rangers Under-21s and McGinn is fit enough to play a part tomorrow, after 19 months out with a knee ligament injury.
Zola said: “Of the players who played in yesterday’s game, it is still too early for Hall to be considered. But Troy Deeney and Stephen McGinn should be available for selection.”
Hall is one of six Watford players who look set to definitely miss out at the weekend, and there are doubts over another three.
There is good news for Zola in that Marco Cassetti has recovered from the eye injury he suffered against Brighton on Tuesday night.
Zola said: “John Eustace, Prince Buaben and Jack Bonham are the long-term absentees. Alex Geijo is still out for the game and so is Geoffrey Mujangi Bia.
“Then there are a few players that we need to see tomorrow before we can rule them out. We are still debating Ikechi Anya and Sean Murray has a little problem.
“There is also Joel Ekstrand, who didn’t start the last game because he was ill and we are not sure if he has recovered.
“Cassetti should be okay though. Yesterday he was alright so he shouldn't be a problem.”
Watford will come up against a Bristol City side who will have one of their summer transfer targets in goal.
Tom Heaton had agreed a move to Watford and passed his medical prior to the club’s takeover but the new regime pulled out of the deal at the 11th hour.