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Saturday, March 23

Premier League

FA Cup

Watford selection dilemma causing Gracia to 'suffer'

PA | 8d
Veteran goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is one of those hoping for another opportunity.

Watford boss Javi Gracia admits he will "suffer" when working out just what squad to pick for the FA Cup quarter-final against Crystal Palace.

The Hornets host the Eagles for Saturday's 12:15pm kick-off aiming to produce a response following their Premier League defeat at title-chasing Manchester City.

Gracia has slowly seen the club's treatment room empty, with defender Miguel Britos quickly shaking off the leg problem he picked up late on during last weekend's 3-1 defeat.

With a full complement available, Gracia knows he will have to disappoint some players – veteran goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes one of those hoping for another opportunity.

"It is difficult as I have all the squad ready and fit. I have to decide and suffer, and it is not easy to take these decisions. It's my job," the Watford boss said at a press conference reported by the club.

"I always decide thinking what is the best for the team. We have lots of options and all of them are high-quality players."

"You know I never say my first XI (before the game) and today is not an exception. It is something I'll decide before the game."

Brazilian Gomes has kept a clean sheet in each of his three FA Cup appearances this season.

The 38-year-old former Tottenham goalkeeper, though, plans to retire in the summer, so could be set for a final Vicarage Road appearance if selected.

Gracia, though, insists he will not be swayed by sentiment as he plots a path towards the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.

"Everyone knows how important Heurelho Gomes is for me and the club. He is ready, like the rest of the players. He is a good option, but I will decide," the Spanish coach said.

"I have three good goalkeepers. Ben Foster is very good, Heurelho is very good and Pontus Dahlberg is as well.

"In different moments they are all very, very good."

Gracia added: "Heurelho is a very good player, a very good person and I'm sure he will be important if he is playing or not."



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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