Bilic confirms Payet fitness ahead of Watford test

Slaven Bilic has said Dimitri Payet will be part of his West Ham squad against Watford.

Bilic confirms Payet fitness ahead of Watford test
Slaven Bilic in his pre-match press conference ahead of West Ham's game with Watford | Photo: Getty Images

West Ham United manager, Slaven Bilic has confirmed that star player, Dimitri Payet will be part of his squad for the contest against Walter Mazzarri's Watford.

Long-awaited return

Payet was the club's star in what was an excellent final season at the Boleyn Ground, and his stock rose with an excellent campaign with France during this summer's Euro 2016 tournament.

His string of superb performances saw him linked with some of Europe's top clubs, but delighted many by remaining at the Hammers. The Frenchman, however, has only played 45 minutes in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea. Yet after appearing for France in midweek, Bilic confirmed that he could be involved on Saturday.

He told whufc.com: “We will see how he is but he will definitely be in the squad," and firmly stated "I am expecting him to be fit and ready and he will start the game.”

Bilic continued: “Of course we have missed him. It is the same for any club who are without their key players."

Odion Igahlo celebrating one of his two goals in Watford's 2-0 win over West Ham last season | Photo: Reuters
Odion Igahlo celebrating one of his two goals in Watford's 2-0 win over West Ham last season | Photo: Reuters

Expecting a tough test

It has been another turn-around at Vicarage Road, with Mazzarri been brought in along with a number of new faces. The Hammers had a 50/50 record against the Hornets last season, with a 2-0 defeat at Vicarage Road, and Bilic is expecting another tough test this time around.

“They are a good team. Last year they did really well and were very active in the transfer market last summer after their promotion," Bilic told his pre-match press conference.

He concluded: “They bought a lot of experienced international players from Europe and now they have changed the manager," and was adamant that  “We are expecting a tough game.”

West Ham United will take on Watford at the London Stadium on Saturday, September 10 with kick-off at 3pm BST.