Belfast Telegraph

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri wary of hornets' nest at Manchester City

Walter Mazzarri believes Watford will face a "very angry" Manchester City when they head to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

City slumped to a 4-2 defeat at champions Leicester on Saturday, which saw them finish the weekend in fourth place, some seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

Although the Hornets come into the match full of confidence following their 3-2 home win over Everton, manager Mazzarri is expecting a reaction from Pep Guardiola's men.

"I saw the game against Leicester. I was surprised, but in Italy we have a saying: 'Each game has its own story'," Mazzarri said at a press conference.

"This won't help us. We will find Manchester City very angry and focused, we won't have the luck that they will underestimate us."

Mazzarri, though, is confident his well-organised side can produce the required performance once again as Watford eye a top-six place.

"I said this to my players. If we put ourselves in front of our opponents we can fight against any Premier League team," the Italian said.

"If we are 100 per cent ready, we can play against any team in the Premier League and battle for the three points.

"This is something that gives us a lot of positivity before the game."

Watford will have Roberto Pereyra available again following a one-match suspension after the Argentina playmaker was sent off at West Brom.

"After such an intense game like the one against Everton, where we spent a lot of energy physically and mentally, it's still very early for me to decide on the team that will take part in the game against Manchester City," Mazzarri added.

"Some of the players trained individually, some trained with the whole team. In order to make a decision we will assess them tomorrow or the day after."

Mazzarri confirmed 20-year-old midfielder Kenedy has returned to Chelsea, marking an early end to what was supposed to be a season-long loan deal, because of fitness problems.

The Brazilian had only made one appearance as a substitute against Burnley on September 26.

"Kenedy went back to Chelsea. He was a player we never had time to evaluate because he was injured the whole time," Mazzarri said.

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