Watford have been hit with more defensive injury problems ahead of Saturday’s relegation dog fight with Southampton.

Christian Kabasele is unavailable to play, as are Craig Dawson, Daryl Janmaat and Sebastian Prodl, leaving the Hornets desperately short at the back going into the must-win game. They join Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Bachmann in the treatment room.

Not helping matters much further is a lingering problem with Roberto Pereyra that may mean he is not quite ready to return to the first XI just yet.

Head coach Quique Sanchez Flores said he thinks Pereyra might be able to play some part on Saturday, but is focused on planning a winning strategy without his other first-team absentees.

“I’m not sure if he’s in a position to play in the first 11,” said the head coach on the Argentine winger.

“I’m not sure. It’s two weeks now and we need to feel that the players are 100 per cent to play, so if I don’t feel he’s 100 per cent to play in the first 11, he will not play in the first 11.

“We need to think about the players we have. It’s the only thing. They are ready to play, they are ready to go to the pitch, they are wishing to go in the first 11, so it’s the players we can use.

“The players who are not ready in training, the only thing we can do is support them and try to get them the best medicines, the best treatment, the best recovery and then we can start thinking about when they can help the team in the future.”