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Javi Gracia: 'Watford can compete without Etienne Capoue'

Javi Gracia: 'Watford can compete without Etienne Capoue'
© Reuters
The Frenchman has picked up a groin problem.

Watford boss Javi Gracia is confident his squad have enough strength in depth to cope without influential midfielder Etienne Capoue when they head to Chelsea on Sunday.

The Frenchman picked up a groin problem in the defeat to Wolves last weekend, which has forced him to sit out a couple of training sessions, but Gracia is confident he will not face a lengthy lay-off as the FA Cup final approaches.

Watford will be boosted at Stamford Bridge by the return of captain Troy Deeney following a three-match ban, but defender Miguel Britos is unavailable after having his wisdom tooth extracted.

Gracia feels whatever side he sends out against Chelsea will be capable of producing the required performance.

"I think it's a little problem that doesn't allow him (Capoue) to play this weekend, but for the next game I think it's possible," the Watford manager said.

"In the last games we had Troy suspended and now we have this problem with Capoue. We have a good squad that is able to compete."

Tom Cleverley or Nathaniel Chalobah could be handed a chance to impress against the Blues, who were in Europa League semi-final action away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

"We have players for the next game who are ready," Gracia said at a press conference reported by Watford club media.

"We have Chalobah, we have Tom Cleverley playing in this position. We have other options to play there. It is not a problem.

"All of them are ready and though they need the more games to achieve their best for the team, I think they are ready. We need to find the best balance."

Midfielder Will Hughes has continued his progress under Gracia, and the Watford manager is confident the 24-year-old has plenty more to offer.

"Will is playing really well and has showed his qualities all season, constantly," Gracia said.

"I think he made an important step forward in his career. I am sure he has a very good present, but a better future."

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