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African All Stars

Nigerians Kalu, Troost-Ekong and Onyeka ruled out of Watford versus Brentford fixture

09:31 SAST 2022/04/16
Samuel Kalu debuts for Warford and Nigeria.
Three Super Eagles will miss action when the relegation-threatened Hornets welcome the Bees for a top-flight fixture at Vicarage Road

Nigeria players Samuel Kalu, William Troost-Ekong, and Frank Onyeka will not be involved for their respective clubs when Watford host Brentford in a Premier League fixture at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Hornets manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed the absence of Kalu and Troost-Ekong ahead of the home fixture which they have to win to keep alive their hopes of avoiding relegation.

“Samuel Kalu has got an ankle injury,” Hodgson told the club’s official website. “Will Troost-Ekong is suffering from a slight hamstring strain - we don’t think it’s major but it’s too early to risk him - and Francisco Sierralta has a calf muscle injury which has stopped him training this week.

“I don’t think it’s going to put him out for a long period of time but it’s put those four out of contention for a place this weekend.”

Kalu has managed two appearances for the Hornets since joining from Bordeaux at the start of the season while Troost-Ekong has managed 16 appearances.

Another blow for the former England manager is the injury to Colombian attacker Cucho Hernandez, who has scored three goals in his last five appearances and was withdrawn during the first half of last weekend’s match against Leeds United.

“Cucho’s injured,” added Hodgson. “I’m afraid the hamstring injury is a serious one, we won't be seeing him for a considerable period of time. I hope he will return before the end of this season but it will be close.”

However, another Nigeria player Emmanuel Dennis, who has managed nine goals from 29 appearances, is available to feature - the same as Senegal star Ismaila Sarr, who has scored five goals from 18 matches.

Meanwhile, Brentford manager Thomas Frank has confirmed Super Eagles' Onyeka will remain sidelined and will thus miss the visit to face Watford.

“Josh Dasilva will be involved in the squad which is very positive; I am very pleased for him. Fingers crossed he can stay fit and avoid strange red cards so we see more of him,” Frank told the club’s official website.

“My take is that a fit Josh Dasilva would have been one of our best performing players this season. It is a big player coming back to us. He is nowhere near top fit because we need to ease him into it, and it will probably take a couple of weeks before we really see the best of him.

“Frank [Onyeka] will still be out. We hope that he will be back before the end of the season. Pontus Jansson is ready to play again.”

Since joining the Bees from Danish side FC Midtjylland, the 24-year-old has only managed one goal from 20 appearances.