MX23RW : Wednesday, March 20 11:48:03
Feb 22, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Cardiff City Stadium
Attendance: 30,387
CardiffCardiff City
1-5
Watford
Bamba (82')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Deulofeu (18', 61', 63'), Deeney (73', 91')

Gracia wants Watford to be as hungry for points as Cardiff in Friday's encounter

Gracia wants Watford to be as hungry for points as Cardiff in Friday's encounter
© Reuters
The Hornets are sitting comfortably in eighth place.

Watford manager Javi Gracia has challenged his players to be as hungry for points as relegation-battlers Cardiff in their Premier League clash on Friday night.

The Hornets are sitting comfortably in eighth place, just two points behind Wolves, and have secured a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Cardiff, meanwhile, are scrapping to drag themselves clear of the relegation dogfight, with successive victories having moved them up to 17th.

Neil Warnock's men, though, are just a point above the drop zone and could well find themselves back in the bottom three should results go against them this weekend.

Gracia does not want to see any complacency from his team when they head to Wales on the back of a run of just one defeat in their last 10 matches in all competitions.

"We are looking forward to the game and making a big effort. Cardiff need the points and I must convince my players we need them as well. We have to show it," the Watford manager said.

"I know how difficult it will be for us to win on Friday.

"It will be a demanding game as they are in their best moment of the season after winning two games (in a row). Playing there will be difficult.

"They have changed something, with some players, some players in other positions. They have another balance and now they are competing better."

Watford expect to have forward Roberto Pereyra available following a calf problem, which saw him miss the past three games.

Friday will be the first home match for Cardiff since the body of Emiliano Sala was recovered from the English Channel and returned to his native Argentina for a funeral.

Bluebirds manager Warnock was among the representatives of the Welsh club to attend the service for Sala.

The 28-year-old was killed when the private plane bringing him to Cardiff crashed into the English Channel on January 21, just two days after his record move to the Premier League side. Lincolnshire pilot David Ibbotson remains missing, presumed dead.

Tributes have been paid across football, and Gracia says Cardiff will have Watford's support if they need it.

"We like to be respectful with the team, with Cardiff and with the families because, for them, it's a difficult moment," Gracia said at a press conference reported by the club.

"We are going to a game and we will come back to our lives, so the most difficult thing is clearly for the family.

"I want us to show our respect and that's all we can do in this difficult moment. If they need our support, they know they will have it."


Emiliano Sala plane disappearance - Click here for more stories

Click here for more stories about Javi Gracia

Click here for more stories about Watford

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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