West Ham vs Watford Preview: Hornets looking for first win against Bilic's Hammers

West Ham will welcome London rivals Watford to the new London Stadium.

West Ham vs Watford Preview: Hornets looking for first win against Bilic's Hammers
Image credit: VAVEL

Watford will face a tough test as they look for their first Premier League win of the campaign, as they travel to Stratford to take on Slaven Bilic's West Ham United.

Continuing to build

There was a lot of hype surrounding Bilic's side as they headed to their new home of the London Stadium after a excellent last season at the Boleyn Ground, but this term has had an admittedly slow start.

They tasted late defeat against Antonio Conte's Chelsea on the opening day, but started off their stay in Stratford in style with a 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth. However they went into the international break on a low point, with a goal from Michail Antonio not enough to stop Manchester City earning a 3-1 winthanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho.

Above: Santi Cazorla opening the scoring in Watford's 3-1 defeat to Arsenal | Photo: Marc Atkins/ Offside
Above: Santi Cazorla opening the scoring in Watford's 3-1 defeat to Arsenal | Photo: Marc Atkins/ Offside

Below average start

Another season has brought around another managerial change, with Quique Sánchez Flores been swiftly replaced by former Napoli and Inter Milan manager Walter Mazzarri. The Italian has brought in a host of new faces, but it hasn't quite been the start he would have hoped for. 

Things looked positive with a opening day point with Southampton, and things still looked up, despite a late goal from Diego Costa denying them a point against Chelsea. However like their hosts they were left deflated before the international break with the visit of Arsenal, with goals from Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil eclipsing Roberto Pereyra's consolation in a convincing 3-1 defeat

Above: Dimitri Payet in training ahead of West Ham's game with Watford | Photo: Getty Images
Above: Dimitri Payet in training ahead of West Ham's game with Watford | Photo: Getty Images

Team news

Bilic will be relieved to see a number of faces returning for selection after the international break, with Sofiane Feghouli (hamstring), Havard Nordtveit (foot), Winston Reid (facial injury) all expecting to make a return to the starting XI.

The biggest return will be star man Dimitri Payet, with the Croatian coach confirming in his pre-match press conference that he will be in the squad, and will be selected if ready. Michail Antonio is expected to return after his first England call-up while Simone Zaza could make his first start since signing from Juventus.

In terms of the away team, Zaza could come up against a former teammate with Pereyra in line to make his first start for Watford since securing a five year deal from the Serie A champions, Adrian Mariappa will also be available for selection for Mazzarri after he rejoined the club from Crystal Palace after a three-year absence. 

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