Southampton v Watford preview: Javi Gracia takes Hornets reins
Last Updated: 27/01/18 2:49pm
Javi Gracia takes charge of his first match in English football as Watford travel to Southampton in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
Gracia replaced Marco Silva last weekend, becoming the 10th manager to work for the Pozzo family since they took over in 2012. The 47-year-old Spaniard, who has signed an 18-month contract, had been out of work since leaving Russian club Rubin Kazan last June.
He takes over a club that have picked up just one point from their last four Premier League games.
Meanwhile, Southampton, who picked up a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with Tottenham last weekend, are looking to reach the fifth round for the first time in four seasons.
These two clubs have already met twice in Premier League this season. Watford won 2-0 at St Mary's in September while the Hornets then came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Vicarage Road in January.
Mauricio Pellegrino will field the strongest side available to him as he looks to build on the momentum gained with the draw against Spurs.
Shane Long is available again after recovering from flu, though Ryan Bertrand is among those now suffering symptoms, while Maya Yoshida has recovered from a hamstring injury and is back in the squad.
Troy Deeney looks certain to miss Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie.
Watford's captain has been sidelined by illness, and has yet to train since Gracia was appointed on Sunday. Heurelho Gomes and Molla Wague are also out, while Tom Cleverley faces a late fitness test.
This will be first FA Cup meeting between these two sides in the FA Cup since their semi-final match in April 2003, Southampton running out 2-1 winners at Villa Park.
The Saints have lost each of their last five FA Cup games at St Mary's against Premier League opposition, with Southampton also in the top-flight for the last four encounters.
Watford have won six of their last eight FA Cup games (L2), with those two losses coming away to Millwall last season and the semi-final against Crystal Palace in April 2016.
Southampton have been eliminated from four of their last five FA Cup fourth round ties, progressing only against Yeovil Town in 2014.
Abdoulaye Doucoure has scored in each of their last three meetings between Watford and Southampton - two of which have come in the 90th minute or later.