MX23RW : Sunday, September 22 00:26:51| >> :600:19478867:19478867:
Feb 9, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Vicarage Road
Attendance: 20,333
Watford
1-0
Everton
Gray (65')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Zouma (95')

Javi Gracia: Watford are fully prepared for Everton

Javi Gracia: Watford are fully prepared for Everton
© Reuters
Former Hornets boss Marco Silva heads back to his former club.

Javi Gracia says Watford will be ready for whatever starting line-up Everton choose for their meeting on Saturday.

Everton boss Marco Silva made five changes and used a different formation for Wednesday's 2-0 home loss to Manchester City.

The players dropping to the bench included former Watford forward Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who have scored 10 and nine Premier League goals respectively this season.

Watford manager Gracia said ahead of Saturday's contest, which will see his predecessor Silva face the club at Vicarage Road for the first time since they sacked him last season: "I think they manage their squad as they want, as they think is better for them.

"In this case (on Wednesday) they changed some players. We know there will be three, four players maybe different than in that game. But we are ready to compete."

Richarlison switched from Watford to Everton last summer having scored five goals during the 2017/18 campaign, each of which came before the Hornets' January change in management from the sacked Silva to Gracia.

This term, as well as 11 club goals in all competitions, the 21-year-old has also netted three times for Brazil.

Gracia, speaking at a press conference reported on Watford's official website, said: "I have the same opinion now as last season – in my opinion he is a very good player and a very good person as well.

"He changed (clubs) at the end of last season and now he is a rival for us, but I always wish him the best.

"He is playing well, he is scoring goals. He played in two different positions, as a striker as well as a left winger. I think always he has kept a very good level."

Ninth-placed Everton, who are one spot and one point worse off than Watford, have lost four of their previous five games in all competitions and eight of their last 13 league matches.

When asked if it was a good time to be facing the Merseyside outfit, Gracia said: "I don't like to look too much at the past or the stats in the past, because in every game you can change the stats.

"Always it's a good chance – I think it is good for us because (we are) playing at home. In the last games we have played a lot of games away and in this case it will be different.

"We need to feel the support of our fans, playing at home – I think it will be good for the spirit and for the ambition of the players in this game."

This will be Watford's first home match in four outings in all competitions and only their second in eight.

The last eight games have seen them lose only once, winning three of those. On Saturday they will be looking for their first home victory since December 15.

Gracia added: "We have got good results playing away, but I think it's important now to play at home because the feeling for the players always is different.

"I think they feel better and I think our level will be better playing at Vicarage Road."

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Javi Gracia in charge of Watford on February 2, 2019
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