Watford v West Ham preview: David Moyes' West Ham reign begins
Last Updated: 19/11/17 8:50am
David Moyes takes charge of West Ham for the first time this weekend against Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
The Scot replaced Slaven Bilic as West Ham's manager earlier this month and he will be looking to get his reign off to a winning start against Watford, with the club currently positioned in the relegation zone.
Unlike their opponents, Watford are nearer the top of the Premier League table than the bottom in ninth but they have endured a difficult spell of late, losing each of their last three league matches.
Despite their recent run of defeats, Marco Silva has attracted plenty of positive attention for the start he has made at Watford and the club knocked back an approach from Everton for his services during the international break.
Watford have a mounting injury list with Belgian defender Christian Kabasele the latest player to suffer a fitness setback. The Belgian is suffering from a back problem but is only rated as a slight doubt for the game.
Silva is also sweating on the fitness of Heurelho Gomes (head), Roberto Pereyra, Sebastian Prodl and Younes Kaboul (all hamstring), all of whom will be assessed pre-match. Nathaniel Chalobah, Isaac Success and Craig Cathcart (all knee) remain long-term absentees.
West Ham's top scorer this season Javier Hernandez is a major doubt to feature in Moyes' first game in charge as he suffered a hamstring injury during Mexico's 3-3 draw against Belgium last week.
James Collins (ankle) and Sam Byram (thigh) are both expected to miss out, while Jose Fonte (ankle) and Michail Antonio (rib) are rated doubtful.
- Watford have lost only one of their last six Premier League games against West Ham, winning three and drawing two.
- The Hammers have recorded just one victory in their last 13 away games in the Premier League (W1 D6 L6).
- Watford have lost three consecutive Premier League games, this after losing just one of their first eight under Marco Silva (W4 D3 L1).
- Following their 3-2 defeat last time out to Everton, Watford have lost the most points from leading positions in the English top-flight this season (8).
- The Hornets (11) have conceded the most goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season (inc. penalties), including a competition-high six goals from corners.
- Only in their last relegation campaign of 2010-11 (7) have West Ham had fewer points after 11 Premier League games than their nine points so far in this season.
- Only Man Utd (1162.0 km) have covered less ground in the Premier League matches this season than West Ham (1162.6 km). The Hammers have also amassed the fewest total sprints in the competition this term (4942).
Paul Merson's prediction
David Moyes is in a catch 22 because the fans are going to be on his back from day one. I do not think he was a great appointment for the West Ham fans and to the end of the season does not give you much leeway, and where is the club going?
He will have to go out and have a go at Watford, if they sit back and draw 0-0, the fans will not be happy at all. And I think it will be a hard game as Watford are one of those teams that are alright if they are not expected to win, but when they are expected to win I think they crumble under the pressure. And again, I am going for a draw.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 5/1)