Watford host Reading tonight in what is shaping up to be a massive game for the Hornets and offers them the chance to get back to winning ways and pile further pressure on the chasing pack.
The Hornets saw their impressive six-match winning run brought to an end by Middlesbrough on Monday, with Boro scoring a late equaliser to hold them to a 1-1 draw. However, despite that Watford remain in a commanding position in the Championship table with both Swansea City and Brentford also dropping points meaning they are still nine points clear of third place.
A win for Watford would enable them to open up a 12 and 13 point gap on Brentford and Swansea respectively with both of those sides not in action until tomorrow. However, both of those clubs will have two games in hand on the Hornets after their meeting with Reading. The Royals will represent a tough task for them given they are aiming to keep themselves in the play-offs.
Xisco Munoz’s side have managed to stay largely injury-free despite the workload that has been placed on the squad over the last few weeks. The Hornets could also soon be boosted by the potential return of influential midfielder Tom Cleverley. He had suffered a slight setback to his return from a knee ligament injury that kept him from returning to action over the Easter period.
However, according to Watford’s official club website the midfielder is now nearing a return to fitness and is pushing to be involved in the squad for the meeting with Reading. That means that Cleverley could potentially come back into the side for the first time since he suffered an injury during their 2-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers back at the start March.
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There has also been an update provided on Troy Deeney’s rehabilitation from an Achilles tendon injury that has kept him out of action since the goalless draw at Coventry City back in February. The forward has now started to progress onto a running programme with the club’s medical team as he looks to get himself back to fitness as soon as possible.
While Tom Dele-Bashiru is also currently reported to be working on specific exercises to strengthen the condition of his knee and working outside now as he continues his recovery from the ACL injury he suffered in October.
With Cleverley nearing a potential return to fitness it will provide something else for Munoz to consider when it comes to selecting the starting line-up he feels will give them the best chance of picking up three points against Reading.
Predicted Watford XI: Bachmann; Femenía, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Masina; Chalobah, Hughes, Zinckernagel; Sarr, Joao Pedro, Sema