Claudio Ranieri
Following an outbreak of Covid-19 within the squad, 17th-placed Watford have had just one full training session in two and a half weeks

Claudio Ranieri says it is a “bad moment” for Watford, who have held only one full training session in over two weeks.

The Hornets face West Ham on Tuesday (15:00 GMT) in their first game since a 2-1 defeat at Brentford on 10 December.

Following a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad, their last three games against Burnley, Crystal Palace and Wolves have all been postponed.

Ranieri said trying to arrange training recently has “not been easy”.

“I have just today [Monday] had the first training session all together,” he said.

“Fortunately today all my players arrived together and that is very, very important. I have just the injured players and it’s a bad moment now.

“It’s a bad moment because the players can’t train properly and I hope nobody suffers some injuries because you know when they don’t train and they arrive at the end [of the game] it is very difficult to play, but that’s it.”

Ranieri said he shares the concerns of Jurgen Klopp and Ralf Rangnick over signing players who are not vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Liverpool manager recently saidexternal-link that a player’s vaccination status would be “influential” in the club’s decision to sign them.

“I think we have to think about this,” Ranieri added.

“There is another problem and if you are vaccinated, if you get Covid it is just for little things. Without vaccination you have to stay at home a long time without training and it’s important to understand if these players are vaccinated.”

As Watford, 17th in the Premier League, prepare for their first game in over two weeks, Ranieri hopes to take advantage of a West Ham side who have played three games in the past six days.

He added: “I hope we have an advantage because we didn’t play but we have had one training session. It’s not easy.”

Despite just one win in eight for the Hammers, Ranieri remained cautious about his side’s chances.

“It’s a very big challenge, West Ham are a good team. They play very well, are solid up front and have very good players,” he said.

“We have to change our way because it is not possible to continue, we are in the relegation battle in the Premier League and we must change something.”

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