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Watford provide injury updates on Nigeria's Troost-Ekong and Kalu ahead of Manchester City clash

08:37 BST 22/04/2022
The two African players missed the team’s last league assignment against Brentford in which they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Vicarage Road

Watford have confirmed both Nigeria internationals William Troost-Ekong and Samuel Kalu are in contention after returning to training ahead of their visit to face Manchester City in a Premier League fixture on Saturday.

The Hornets will travel to face the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium seeking to win and increase their chances of avoiding relegation at the end of the season. Ahead of the do-or-die fixture, they have provided an injury update on their first team players including the Nigerian duo, who missed their last outing against Brentford last Saturday.

“Defender William Troost-Ekong has returned to full training ahead of Saturday’s trip to Manchester City, as he completes his recovery from a slight hamstring strain that kept him out of contention for the home clash against Brentford last time out,” Watford confirmed on their official website.

“The Nigeria captain has made 16 Premier League appearances so far this season, but hasn’t turned out for the Hornets since the 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Day.”

The statement continued: “Cucho Hernandez remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and will definitely miss out this weekend, but Samuel Kalu [ankle] and Francisco Sierralta [calf] - who were also forced to miss the Brentford defeat with minor injuries - will both train today (April 21), albeit with modified sessions.

“Two other members of Roy Hodgson’s first-team squad are currently nursing knocks, and they will be assessed tomorrow [April 22)] before the team departs for the Etihad Stadium.”

Since joining Watford from FC Girondins de Bordeaux in January, Kalu has appeared in two Premier League matches, with both of these appearances coming as a substitute.

The last Premier League appearance that Kalu made came on March 10 for Watford against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a meeting that he played 45 minutes in during a 4-0 defeat.

Meanwhile, Watford manager Roy Hodgson believes they will face a tough fixture against Man City.

“Everyone knows what the situation is,” Hodgson said as quoted by the club website. “What we’re going to do is try and make ourselves unpopular.

“If we want to make ourselves popular with Pep, the Man City crowd, and everyone else, all we do is go hell for leather and try to match them at their game, which is a recipe for disaster. The only chance is to go there and give their play the respect it deserves and make life as difficult for them as we possibly can.”

Nigeria international Emmanuel Dennis, who scored against Brentford, will once again be relied upon for goals alongside Senegal international Ismaila Sarr.