Tom Cleverley closing in on return ahead of Watford’s clash with Reading

Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley
Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley (PA Wire)
16:36pm, Thu 08 Apr 2021
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Watford should have midfielder Tom Cleverley in contention again for Friday night’s Sky Bet Championship clash against play-off hopefuls Reading.

Cleverley suffered a small set-back to his return from a knee ligament strain ahead of Good Friday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday, so also did not feature in the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough.

The Hornets, who sit second in the table, otherwise report no fresh selection worries, with forward Troy Deeney stepping up recovery from an Achilles tendon tear.

Midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru is now undertaking some specific knee strengthening exercises following his ACL injury.

Reading defender Omar Richards will be fit for the trip to Vicarage Road.

Left-back Richards went off during the second half of Monday’s win over Derby with a foot problem but has returned to training.

Royals boss Veljko Paunovic confirmed midfielder John Swift (hamstring) was stepping up his recovery and could be in contention.

Centre-half Tom McIntyre (quad) remains sidelined and defender Michael Morrison (hamstring) is likely to miss the rest of the regular season, but midfielder Felipe Araruna has resumed training after a long-term knee problem.

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