Javi Gracia will be without a quartet of Watford players for the visit of Cardiff City to Vicarage Road on Saturday, but did have positive news on Tom Cleverley’s ongoing return to full fitness.

Will Hughes and Andre Gray both missed the trip to Everton on Monday and have failed to recover in time for the Cardiff clash.

They will be joined in taking up a watching berth by Adalberto Penaranda and Sebastian Prodl on Saturday, although both the Venezuelan and Austrian may not have been involved anyway.

“Will Hughes and Andre Gray are out of the team in this moment after picking up contusions. Will’s is on the hip and Andre’s is just below the knee,” Gracia explained.

“Sebastian Prodl has a little problem in his knee and we will need to assess him. Penaranda continues with the same problem with his foot and, in this moment, these players are out.”

Gracia did have positive news to share on Cleverley, who has not played during the 2018/19 campaign after undergoing surgery on an Achilles problem in pre-season.

The midfielder has been back in training for a number of weeks and Gracia says Cleverley, while still needing to gain full match fitness, is available for selection.

“Tom Cleverley is training really well. He has played with the Under-23s and in this moment he needs to improve his condition,” the Spaniard said.

“I think he is close to coming back. He needs time in training like he is getting at the moment but he can play the next game if I decide and is available for Saturday.”