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Watford are set to be without five of their loanees for their Championship clash against Huddersfield Town
Watford will have Jonathan Hogg back for this weekend’s trip to high-flying Huddersfield Town but will once again be without a number of summer signings.
Hogg missed the draw with Bristol City due to illness but he has been training with the squad this week and is fully fit once more.
Troy Deeney and Fitz Hall both made their first appearances of the season on Saturday and Gianfranco Zola said he will make a decision on whether they will be fit to start this weekend.
Prince Buaben is still out with a hamstring problem and he is joined on the sidelines by five of the club’s summer signings.
Ikechi Anya has a swollen ankle, Geoffrey Mujangi Bia has a groin injury and Joel Ekstrand is likely to miss out through illness.
The other two players are Alex Geijo and Cristian Battocchio. Geijo joined the club seven weeks ago but has struggled with fitness issues – he was set to return after the international break but picked up a groin problem.
Battocchio made a brief substitute appearance at Derby on September 1 but has not been involved since returning from international duty with Italy Under-20s.
Speaking on Tuesday, Hornets head coach Gianfranco Zola said: “Battocchio came back from the national team with a problem with his groin and we’re just taking it easy as we don’t want it to get any worse. Yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday) he’s been training with Geijo and he should be available shortly.”
“I don’t think they will be available for the weekend, maybe for Charlton,” Zola added.
Zola also revealed that John Eustace is close to returning to the training ground after missing the previous seven games following back surgery.
Eustace has been training at a specialist centre and is recovering well, although no date has been given for his return.
Zola said: “He is doing strengthening work and he’s getting better. I don’t know when he’s going to start [full training], hopefully next week he will start training on the pitch. I spoke to him and he hasn’t got pain any more and that’s very important.”
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