Team News: Chelsea
By Kevin Affleck
Quique Sánchez Flores is keen to focus on the players he does have, not dwell on the ones he doesn't, and draw on his rich coaching experience to plot another positive result against Chelsea.
The Head Coach reported that Isaac Success and possibly Étienne Capoue, who is “not 100 per cent”, could be in contention to face the Blues in the 5.30pm kick-off at Vicarage Road. Sánchez Flores drew both games against Chelsea in his first spell. The possible return of Success and Capoue will offset the absence of Troy Deeney, Ismaïla Sarr, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Domingos Quina, the midfielder who will be out for a fortnight with a groin problem sustained at Goodison Park.
“We need to talk about the solutions as these players are not ready right now,” he said. “We need to be focused on the solutions [in attack], with Deulofeu, with Andre Gray, with Pereyra.”
Sánchez Flores is optimistic Cleverley will be back sooner rather than later after the effervescent midfielder limped off early against Bournemouth.
“He has a little problem with his heel,” said the Head Coach. “Hopefully it will not be too long. He is positive he will come back soon.”
Deeney is making progress all the time following knee surgery and is working his socks off in the gym.
“He is training really hard and really well,” said Sánchez Flores. “I love Deeney, you all know that, and we know how he can help the team, but right now he is not the solution. He has a lot of character and represents well the values of the club: be organised, be brave, be compact and solid. This is the character we want. He is representing the club very well with these values.”
The likelihood of João Pedro partnering Deeney in attack this season increased this week after the exciting Brazilian forward received a permit to work in this country. He will join up with his new teammates in January.
“I saw him play and he is strong, really quick and he scores goals,” said Sánchez Flores. “He looks really well. He plays in a different league and you need to see these players in different contexts against different defenders. January is so far away right now – the focus is on what happens in the next two days. We love the player but he is not the solution right now.”