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Prodl injury provides Mazzarri with plenty to ponder

Walter Mazzarri must decide whether to revert to a back four or hand Christian Kabasele only his second start in the wake of an injury to Sebastian Prodl that seems certain to rule him out against Liverpool.

The Austrian, who is in the best form of his Watford career, limped off after 87 minutes of the game against Hull City and was in some discomfort as he left the stadium on Saturday night, complaining of pain in the adductor muscle in his right leg. He will undergo a scan, at one of three external centres the club use, to discover the extent of the damage, but it is hard to see him featuring against Jurgen Klopp’s in-form side, let alone his country’s World Cup qualifiers against Republic of Ireland and Slovakia.

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Already without Craig Cathcart, Mazzarri will spend the week mulling over whether to revert to a flat back four and pitch Daryl Janmaat in as an orthodox right-back, or alternatively bring in Kabasele to join Younes Kaboul and Miguel Britos in the back three he so favours. Kabasele made his debut against a free-flowing Arsenal side and his second start could come against opposition equally blessed with nimble and fleet-footed attackers.

Mazzarri has used five different back-three configurations this season but Saturday was the first time he’d used the same one in three successive matches.