Wednesday 19 December 2018

Watford boss Javi Gracia not expecting European hangover from Burnley

Burnley will play their sixth competitive fixture of the new season.

Watford manager Javi Gracia expects Burnley to be fresh despite their midweek European fixture (Joe Giddens/PA)
Watford manager Javi Gracia expects Burnley to be fresh despite their midweek European fixture (Joe Giddens/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Watford boss Javi Gracia does not expect Burnley to suffer a European hangover when they return to Premier League action on Sunday.

The Clarets secured their place in the Europa League play-off round with a 1-0 win over Istanbul Basaksehir after extra-time on Thursday night, and will next face Greek side Olympiakos.

Sunday’s match at Turf Moor will already be a sixth competitive fixture for Sean Dyche’s squad.

Watford, meanwhile, come into the game fresh after opening the new domestic campaign with a 2-0 home win over Brighton.

Gracia, though, sees no reason why Burnley should not be able to cope with the additional schedule.

“They have a very good squad and I’m sure they won’t have any problem playing three games this week,” the Watford boss said at a press conference.

“Yesterday I think they changed the team, so I’m sure they will play at the same level as in other games.

“If you ask me whether I prefer to play three games or two in this period, I’d prefer to play two, but I’m sure they will keep this level and it will be a very tough game for us.”

Gracia reported no fresh injury problems from the Brighton game, as the likes of winger Gerard Deulofeu, midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, forward Stefano Okaka and midfielder Tom Cleverley all continue their recovery.

However, the Hornets boss confirmed Younes Kaboul and left-back Marvin Zeegelaar could yet leave the club, with the transfer window still open in some European leagues.

“We’ll see in the next few days what will happen with Marvin and Kaboul because in this moment, we have other players in the same position,” Gracia said.

Gracia confirmed former Tottenham player Kaboul was fit, but not currently training with the rest of the first-team squad.

Press Association

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