New Watford boss Vladimir Ivic will be without 11 players for the club’s Sky Bet Championship opener against Middlesbrough on Friday evening.
Andre Gray will miss out with a hamstring injury sustained in last weekend’s friendly clash with Tottenham, while fellow striker Troy Deeney and winger Gerard Deulofeu are close to returning to training, but will not be available this weekend.
Gray is expected to be able to rejoin the squad in around two weeks’ time, as is midfielder Will Hughes as he continues his recovery from a medical procedure carried out during pre-season.
Long-term absentees Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success have been joined on the sidelines by Adam Masina, who faces several months out, while Etienne Capoue, Roberto Pereyra and Danny Welbeck are in line to resume training within a matter of weeks.
Middlesbrough defender Grant Hall is in contention to make a league debut for the club after starting last weekend’s 4-3 Carabao Cup first-round victory over League One Shrewsbury.
Manager Neil Warnock should also be able to include Marcus Bettinelli for the first time at Vicarage Road.
The Teessiders tied up a loan deal with Fulham for the goalkeeper, who worked briefly under Warnock at QPR.
Warnock has no injuries to contend with, but having lost 10 players since the end of last season and recruited only two to date, knows his squad is thin.