Tranmere Rovers v Watford Team News

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Watford will be hoping it is third time lucky when they visit League One Tranmere in their FA Cup third round replay on Thursday.

The two teams played out a 3-3 draw when they originally met at Vicarage Road earlier this month, with Watford throwing away a three-goal advantage in that match, while last week’s replay was rained off due to the effects of Storm Brendan on Tranmere’s Prenton Park pitch.

That has left Watford with a congested fixture schedule, as Thursday’s match will come just two days after they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in the Premier League – a result that saw them slip back into the relegation zone.

Indeed, if the Hornets were to beat Tranmere then they will be back in action on Sunday – their fourth game in the space of nine days – as the winner of this tie will host Manchester United in round four.

Boss Nigel Pearson made wholesale changes for Watford’s original clash with Tranmere and that is likely to be the case once again on Thursday, with goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann and youngsters Bayli Spencer-Adams, Domingos Quina and Tom Dele-Bashiru all expected to be involved.

Nathaniel Chalobah is unlikely to be risked after being forced off with a hip problem against Villa, while Ismaila Sarr is still recovering from a hamstring issue, although fellow forward Danny Welbeck could play some part following a similar problem.

Tranmere’s comeback at Vicarage Road is really an exception to their recent form, as Micky Mellon’s side are without a win in seven across all competitions and find themselves in the League One relegation zone.

Midfielder Ollie Banks will miss out against Watford after picking up a muscle injury during Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Ipswich, while defenders Mark Ellis and Evan Gumbs remain sidelined.

However, the news is more positive regarding full-back Calum Woods and on-loan Aston Villa forward Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, who have both returned to training following injury and illness respectively.