John Eustace and Mat Sadler make surprise returns for the first time in a month as Watford travel to promotion favourites Birmingham City.

The 29-year-old midfielder is expected to match up with veteran Lee Carsley in the centre of midfield.

Eustace and Sadler have both not played since playing against Swansea on November 9.

It is unclear how Rodgers plans to set up his side as he has selected three central midfielders in Ross Jenkins, Liam Bridcutt and Eustace.

The Watford manager may put one of them on the right of midfield or push one of them forward to play off Tamas Priskin in a 4-4-1-1, with captain for the day Tommy Smith out wide.

Or the Northern Irishman may select a 4-3-3 formation with Smith and Jon Harley playing in an attacking three.

The Hornets are without the suspended Lee Williamson and skipper Jay DeMerit, who injured his groin against Tottenham.

Worryingly for Watford, they have no defensive players on the bench.

Birmingham: Taylor, Queudrue, Jaidi, Taylor, Hunt; Larsson, Carsley, Quashie, Quincy; Bent, Phillips; Subs: Doyle, Parnaby, Nafti, Agustien, Jerome.

Watford: Loach, Sadler, Bromby, Mariappa, Doyley; Harley, Eustace, Bridcutt, Jenkins; Smith, Priskin. Subs: Lee, McAnuff, O’Toole, Hoskins, Robinson.