Tranmere Rovers v Watford Team News
Watford boss Nigel Pearson is expected to ring the changes once again as his side prepare for a trip to Tranmere in their FA Cup third-round replay.
The Hornets will do battle with the League One side for a second time this month after the original encounter on January 4 finished 3-3.
A much-changed Watford XI, including various fringe players and debutants, let slip a three-goal advantage two weeks ago and they will face off at a wet and windy Prenton Park.
Pearson reached the FA Cup final as a player with Middlesbrough in 1997 but, after playing at Bournemouth on Sunday and with a trip to Tottenham coming up, he feels he has little choice but to rotate his squad.
“I am paid to make decisions based on what is right for our club,” he said. “I can’t be sentimental. I have always been someone who has enjoyed playing in cup runs, but I am a manager so my role is different.
“My role is to make decisions based on the planning for our week. We played Sunday, we play Tuesday and we got away with managing our way through the Christmas period, which was very hectic.
“The demands of the game now are incredibly high and the players’ work-rate at Bournemouth was unbelievable so we need to get the recovery right and make sure we are ready for the game on Saturday.”
Pearson insists had Watford not had so many games over Christmas, he would have played more first-team players for the first tie with Rovers at Vicarage Road.
Ben Foster, Etienne Capoue, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Gerard Deulofeu and Troy Deeney were rested and are expected to miss Tuesday’s match.
As for Tranmere, Liam Ridehalgh has recovered from an injury picked up over the festive period and could be in for a start on Tuesday.
However, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy remains a doubt for manager Micky Mellon, while Scott Davies, Mark Ellis, and Evan Gumbs are all expected to miss the midweek clash.
A fourth-round tie against either Manchester United or Wolves is on offer for the winners.
Alex Jack is a Yorkshireman with Scottish connections and well versed in a number of sports. A Leeds United supporter, who also enjoys both codes of rugby. Leeds Rhinos is where you can find him in the summer, while Alex is an avid supporter of Scottish rugby union.