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Mazzarri weighing up use of Watson, Zuniga and Janmaat

Walter Mazzarri says he will choose between Daryl Janmaat and Juan Zuniga for the left wing-back slot – and said he can “count on Ben Watson” who is pushing hard for the spot at the base of Watford’s midfield.

Watford’s head coach will make at least two changes to the side that lost heavily at Liverpool, with the fit-again Sebastian Prodl set to return at the heart of the defence and Jose Holebas missing out through suspension. Holebas’ one-game ban opens up a vacancy on the left flank, one that Mazzarri is still deciding how best to fill.

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“Holebas is a very important player for us and has been massively important for us so far,” said Mazzarri. “We will miss him but it is normal that you get one or two suspensions. I have different possibilities [to replace Holebas] but it depends on what tactics I will use. The first two choices I have are Zuniga or Janmaat, but also Amrabat can play in that position. But at the moment it’s between Janmaat and Zuniga.”

Picture by Franziska Empl
Picture by Franziska Empl

The versatile Zuniga may well get the nod as he often played on the left-flank for Mazzarri at Napoli. Valon Behrami was also a fixture under Mazzarri at Napoli but his place in this Watford side has come under threat following a series of ineffectual displays. Behrami played the full 90 minutes for Switzerland on Tuesday and Mazzarri may decide the fresher legs of Watson are needed against Leicester.

Picture by Franziska Empl
Picture by Franziska Empl

“I always chose Behrami until today because having Capoue and Pereyra playing next to each other, we needed more aggression defensively to help get the back back. In the times Ben has played, he proved he is playing well and shown that I can count on him.”