Watford will welcome back Ben Watson this weekend but Isaac Success and Daryl Janmaat are still at least a week away while Heurelho Gomes and Jose Holebas have been laid low by illness.
Watson has missed the last four games for family reasons but he’s trained this week and comes into the reckoning for the FA Cup third-round tie with Burton Albion.
“He’s back,” confirmed Mazzarri. “He was a long time not training with the team but he will be available from the bench. I am not sure how many minutes he has in his legs but we are happy to have him available again.”
Watson played 41 times for Quique Sanchez Flores last season but has become a peripheral figure under Mazzarri, playing just 65 minutes of league action.
On the other hand, Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success are, when fully fit, certain starters but they are being held back for what looks a crucial couple of games against Middlesbrough and Bournemouth.
“I think Daryl will available for the game against Middlesbrough,” said the head coach. “For Success I am not sure he will be ready for that game but we hope as early as possible. Janmaat is getting better.”
Not feeling so great this week have been Heurelho Gomes and Jose Holebas. Not only are injuries biting hard, a fever has hit the camp. Costel Pantilimon almost didn’t make the squad because of it on Tuesday night.
“We have some players who had a fever, on top of what you already know,” said Mazzarri. “Gomes had a bit of fever and is not feeling very well. Pantilimon had it last Sunday and Holebas had it as well.”
Pantilimon will keep goal tomorrow while Mazzarri confirmed Abdoulaye Doucoure, the renaissance man in midfield, is also set to start. “He will play tomorrow,” confirmed Mazzarri. “He is a player doing very well in the last two games. He’s also a very young player. Tomorrow he will play and I’m sure he will do a great game.”