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Nordin Amrabat being “conserved” for Leeds FA Cup tie

Nordin Amrabat is being lined up for the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Leeds United, judging by the comments from the head coach this morning.

Amrabat was an unused substitute on Saturday for the second successive Premier League match and was an 89th-minute replacement in the 2-1 win over Newcastle United. With Quique Sanchez Flores admitting both Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo were less than 100 per cent fit for the game at White Hart Lane, it was a surprise the effervescent club record signing was not let off the leash to charge around and cause havoc against Spurs.

“Amrabat is ready,” said the coach this morning. “I love to watch Amrabat at the training ground. We have a very important match for the Watford team in the FA Cup. Amrabat is learning, training well and has a good mentality but we probably conserve Amrabat for the next weekend.”

Amrabat played 86 minutes of the 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the last round.

Pictures by Paul Dawson
Pictures by Paul Dawson

Sanchez Flores could also use the game against Leeds to recall Jose Holebas. He was harshly left out against Tottenham Hotspur, despite being Watford’s best outfield player against Chelsea.

“To play against Willian was an amazing challenge,” explained the head coach. “He used a lot of energy. Ake did amazing performances before and I trust a lot in Ake. In this moment we have two amazing players in this position. It is not easy to choose between these players.”