Football Preview Watford

A seriously unnecessary game: Tranmere vs Watford FA Cup replay preview

The highly anticipated rearranged FA Cup replay, between Tranmere and Watford is finally set to take place, as the two sides meet at Prenton Park on Thursday night.

Victory for either side today would confirm a home draw against out of sorts Manchester United and a potential route into round five. This is going to be the Hornets’ third game in five days, and their second in 48 hours, after they succumbed to a cruel 95th minute winner by Aston Villa on Tuesday night.

With Watford deep in a relegation dog fight this season, lying in 19th position on 23 points, manager Nigel Pearson will be making wholesome changes to his squad, and after admitting that the FA Cup is not a priority, with a range of players from the under 23s set to be given another chance to redeem themselves from the home tie, where they let a three goal lead slip. Young Brazilian Joao Pedro looks set to make his first start but the Hornets look set to be without midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah after he hobbled off with a hip injury at Villa Park.

Tranmere will be without midfielder Ollie Banks, along with defenders Mark Ellis and Evan Gumbs, but full back Calum Woods and on loan Aston Villa forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy have returned to training after injury and illness respectively.

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The playing surface will be the main talking point after the original reply was postponed due to heavy rainfall and played their first home game since January 7 on Saturday.

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