It is anybody’s guess what team Watford will field this evening against Preston North End in the second round of the Capital One Cup at Deepdale.
The Hornets – who were promoted to the Premier League last season – have only had a couple of days to prepare for the tie after drawing 0-0 with Southampton at Vicarage Road on Sunday.
With a 40-man squad at his disposal and a tough trip to Manchester City on the horizon this weekend, Watford manager Quique Flores may opt to make changes this evening.
Indeed it appears Flores – surprisingly appointed in June replacing Slaviša Jokanovi, who had guided the club to promotion – has too many options to choose from.
The Hornets have signed 12 players over the summer and the club has an unusual acquisition process.
Flores has a say in transfer dealings but does not hold the ultimate power of veto – that responsibility lies with the club’s transfer committee.
After the draw against the Saints, Flores appeared to suggest that the club had brought in too many players.
Premier League clubs must submit a 25-man squad on September 3, which includes a maximum of 17 players who do not qualify as home grown.
At present there are 21 foreign players at the club, meaning Flores will have to offload regardless of whether any more signings are made.
“We are a new team and we are creating a new base. We have how many new players? Too much,” he said.
“It is difficult because I want the players to feel happy,” said Flores. “We have a lot of players who are not on the list and there a lot of players who want the possibility to play.
“We are training with 30 players every week and that is not easy.
“Of course we are trying to put the best players on the list.
“We have a lot of offensive players and it is sometimes difficult to change things because other players are playing well.”
Despite the perceived internal problems, Watford have made a solid start to life in the Premier League, drawing their opening three games.
They looked on course to beat Everton on the opening day of the season but conceded a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.
“I imagine they will make some changes for tonight because they only played on Sunday,” said North End defender Paul Huntington.
“Having just been promoted to the Premier League, they will have a decent sized squad to change the personnel.
“I am sure there will be some very good players that we will be coming up against.
“We’ll obviously be looking to win the game but we’ll just have to wait and see what changes they make.”