Sheffield Wednesday: Hornets eager to end home drought

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola.
Watford manager Gianfranco Zola.
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More than four and a half hours have passed since Watford last found the back of the net on their own patch.

You have to go back to October 19 for the last time the Hornets scored at Vicarage Road. Gianfranco Zola’s multi-cultural squad have fired blanks in the last three matches in their own backyard and will be looking to avoid a fifth successive home defeat when they entertain Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow. The Hornets last home success came at the end of September against Wigan Athletic.

Watford, beaten in last season’s play-off final by Crystal Palace, have slipped to 12th in the Championship after an eight-match winless run.

But the London club are starting to get key senior players out of the treatment room. Influential winger Ikechi Anya returned to first-team action in their pulsating 3-3 draw at Leeds United last weekend, having shaken off a calf knock.

“Ikechi is a lively player,” Zola said. “He can transform the action. He can turn a chance for your opponents into a chance for you because of his pace.”

Switzerland international Almen Abdi is on the mend from an on-going foot problem. The 27-year-old has not featured since August 31 but has resumed full training. Abdi could be included in the match-day squad to face Wednesday.

Zola said: “Abdi has been training with the team regularly. Hopefully we are turning a corner which is great news considering the importance and the influence he has on the team.”

Watford will check on Manuel Almunia’s fitness. The experienced goalkeeper missed the trip to Elland Road because of a knee problem.