Sebastian Prodl will return to the Watford side for the visit of Leicester City – and Walter Mazzarri is confident Heurelho Gomes will be fit to take his place in the Hornets’ goal.
The Watford head coach was also pleased to report Stefano Okaka will at least be among the substitutes but that he will not be able to call on the services of the injured Christian Kabasele, Isaac Success and Craig Cathcart.
Prodl’s return, however, comes as a massive boost for a side who shipped six last time out. Prodl was the linchpin in the defence that kept three clean sheets prior to the annihilation at Anfield. “Prodl will be back,” confirmed the head coach.
Adrian Mariappa will be the back-up centre-half on the bench as Kabasele has not recovered from the injury he picked up on international duty. “He’s still injured,” said Mazzarri. “We are not sure when he will back. For sure he will not be available for Saturday.”
Gomes looked set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines when he left Merseyside on crutches and with his knee in a brace but a scan discovered he only sustained bruising. “He should be back,” said Mazzarri. “We will verify in the next couple of days but he should be fine.”
Okaka, who caught the eye when he came on against West Ham United, returned to full training recently and he will be the bench cover for Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. “Okaka should be available,” said the head coach. “We need to understand his condition but he will at least be on the bench.”
Cathcart is recovering from surgery in Germany to repair a hernia while Success, we understand, is being pencilled in for a return against Stoke.
“I haven’t counted the weeks until today but both him and Cathcart had bad injuries that take some weeks to return,” said Mazzarri.