Ryan Noble should go straight into the Watford squad for the home game against Middlesbrough.

The 18-year-old striker has joined on loan from Sunderland until the end of the season to provide cover for Heidar Helguson, Will Hoskins and Danny Graham.

Arsenal loanee Henri Lansbury will have a late fitness check on the hip injury which has kept him out of the last two games.

Skipper Jay DeMerit returned from a back injury against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and came through unscathed.

Midfielder Ross Jenkins managed 73 minutes at Hillsborough despite an ankle problem and should be available again.

The Hornets have registered just one win in their last eight games and are hovering nervously just three points above the relegation zone.

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan will make late checks on midfielders Gary O'Neil and Julio Arca ahead of the trip to Vicarage Road.

Both men missed Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Preston with the same virus which had kept defender Stephen McManus out of the 1-1 draw with Reading last weekend.

O'Neil and Arca were due to return to training on Friday, with their fitness to be assessed after that.

Striker Scott McDonald, however, will be sidelined for up to a fortnight with a hamstring injury.

Willo Flood (knee), Jeremie Aliadiere (broken toe), Tony McMahon (foot), Seb Hines (ankle and knee ligament) and Matthew Bates (cruciate ligament) remain on the sidelines.M

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