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To our live coverage of the Premier League clash between Watford and Tottenham, which kicks off at 3pm.

Struggling Watford will have Emmanuel Dennis available this month after Nigeria missed the deadline to call up the attacker for the Africa Cup of Nations.

And although the striker wanted to play in the tournament he is happy to stay and help his club, according to manager Claudio Ranieri.

Earlier this week, Ranieri revealed that Nigeria had missed the deadline to inform Watford of their intention to select Dennis, giving the Premier League club the power to decide whether to release the 24-year-old striker for international duty.

Dennis has been Watford’s best player this season with eight goals and five assists in the league. His name was not included in the revised 28-man Nigeria squad announced on Friday.

“I knew they were speaking, the (Watford) board and Nigerian board, and I accept every decision they find. For me, it’s finished,” Ranieri told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home game.

“They have a lot of players and they changed the manager and they changed everything. We were ready to give them the players, but they didn’t do this. The two boards spoke and for me it’s okay, I’m only the coach and I accept everything.

“Now I spoke with him, of course he wanted to go to play, but also he wanted to help Watford.”

When asked if Watford were being disrespectful towards the tournament by refusing to release Dennis, Ranieri said: “No, no, we respect everybody.”

Injury-hit Watford are 17th, two points above the relegation zone but with two games in hand over the bottom two sides. Ranieri said they could bring in reinforcements during the January transfer window.

“My focus is only on Tottenham. When we finish that match I will speak with the board to try to find the right solution for the team,” he added. Reuters




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