West Ham United ends their two week match hiatus Saturday evening, when they venture to Vicarage Road to take on Watford.
Manager Slaven Bilic has left Andy Carroll out of the matchday squad once again, as the star forward’s groin injury still isn’t fully healed to play. It’s an unchanged starting lineup from the Croatian gaffer, as Cheikhou Kouyate continues his right back alteration at the expense of Sam Byram. Arthur Masuaku returns to the bench, as Ashley Fletcher receives the dreaded drop from the squad.
The Hammers definitely want to avoid blowing a lead again to Watford, as they squandered a 2-0 edge back at home in September to fall 4-2 to today’s opponents. Walter Mazzarri has made two changes to his side from their clear 2-0 defeat to Manchester United a fortnight ago. Daryl Janmaat and Velon Behrami replace Craig Cathcart and Sebastian Prodl in his lineup. Behrami and Mauro Zarate certainly had their moments as West Ham players, as both will face off against their former London club.
It’s the Saturday late match in the Premier League, meaning all media attention is on this midtable fixture. A win will see the Hammers jump past Stoke City into 9th place in the standings. Will they get revenge of Watford? Or will the Hornets sting them once again this season? Find out.
LINEUPS AND BENCH
FIRST HALF REVIEW
Before Mauro Zarate’s devastating injury took the main headline of the first half, the Hammer had the second most significant moment of the half to start the game. Zarate didn’t draw the penalty that lead to Troy Deeney’s early spot kick goal. Instead, it was just Cheikhou Kouyate who simply gave the Hornets a gift by clumsily fouling him in the box.
Both Kouyate and Robert Snodgrass had forgettable first halves, as they prevented West Ham from having an advantage that they deserved instead of their opponents. It isn’t like the Hammers have played well, as they only had one clear chance after good work from Sofiane Feghouli set up Snodgrass. But the Scot has been off and waited too late to shoot on goal.
Bilic will look to make a change or two before the half hour mark, as the Hammers certainly can still win at Vicarage Road today. Watford simply haven’t been good enough to get all three points on this match form. And that is before Zarate’s unfortunate ailment.
A full recap post for this match will come right at the final whistle.