Team News: Stoke City v Watford

By: Watford FC Staff

Slaven Bilić will be without a handful of players for his first game as Watford Head Coach, as the team prepare to face Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium this Sunday [October 2, 12noon].

João Pedro’s status is 50/50 ahead of the trip north, as he currently nurses a minor calf injury. The Head Coach described his situation as “just a matter of days”.

William Troost-Ekong was forced off the pitch with a hamstring injury whilst representing Nigeria last week, and is aiming for a mid-October return.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Ngakia is making good progress on his hamstring injury, but won’t be rushed back to action.

Having sustained a lateral collateral ligament injury in August, midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru’s rehabilitation is going well, with the 23-year-old training individually outside.

The Hornets’ medical staff remain cautious with Tom Cleverley’s return to the squad, with a couple of weeks to wait before the club captain can return from an achilles injury.

Long-term absentee Rey Manaj is doing strength training in his initial rehab as he works hard to come back from a hamstring injury sustained against Queens Park Rangers last month.

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