West Ham v Watford preview: Patrice Evra and Marko Arnautovic in contention
Last Updated: 10/02/18 2:27pm
Marko Arnautovic could be fit to face Watford on Saturday after missing West Ham's last three games with injury, while Patrice Evra may be in line for his debut.
The club's joint-top goalscorer Arnautovic had scored six times in 10 games prior to a hamstring problem picked up in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth last month.
The Hammers' 3-1 defeat at Brighton last weekend was their first in seven games - although they are still sat on their worst points tally at this stage since they were relegated in 2010/11.
Evra, who signed for the Hammers on Wednesday, has not played a competitive game since October 29 but is in the squad.
Watford come into the match on the back of a 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday night, although they were their first three points since December 26.
The Hornets moved six points clear of the drop zone with that victory, and have now picked up seven extra points thanks to goals in the final 10 minutes of league games - behind only Manchester City and Burnley.
Their lengthy injury list shows little sign of subsiding this weekend, however, with only Tom Cleverley likely to feature.
Evra goes straight into the West Ham squad while Arnautovic is in contention after returning from a hamstring problem.
Jose Fonte is short of match fitness and fellow defender Winston Reid has a throat infection, while Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll, Pedro Obiang, Edimilson Fernandes are still injured and Arthur Masuaku is suspended.
Watford's injury troubles continue with nine eligible players sidelined, including vice-captain Heurelho Gomes and midfielder Tom Cleverley.
The Hornets have the most players missing out of any team in the top flight, and may include a member of their under-23s in their matchday squad, as head coach Javi Gracia is currently working with 17 first-team players.
- Since a run of 11 consecutive home wins against the Hornets in all competitions between September 1984 and November 2004, West Ham have won just one of their last five home games against them (D1 L3).
- Watford's 4-2 victory away at West Ham last season was the first time they'd scored four goals in an away top-flight game for 30 years, since winning 5-1 at Chelsea in May 1986.
- After taking a maximum of nine points from their opening three away league games this season, the Hornets have picked up just a further five from their last 30 available on the road (W1 D2 L7).
- West Ham are currently unbeaten in four home games in all competitions (W2 D2) - they've never gone five without defeat at the London Stadium.
- Watford are looking to win back-to-back league games for the first time since November, following their 4-1 win against Chelsea on Monday.
- Moyes faced Javi Gracia twice while he managed Real Sociedad in La Liga - he drew one and lost one against Gracia, who was then in charge of Malaga.
West Ham had a bad result against Brighton but David Moyes has done well overall, and I don't think the speculation about him this week will hurt them. They've got to get back and win, and I think they will.
Watford had a great result against Chelsea, but that was their first for a long time. It does give them a little breathing space, though. They were the team on the glass mountain with moccasin slippers on; it looked like they'd never stop sliding but that was a massive result.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (10/1 with SkyBet)
West Ham are Sky Bet's 7/5 favourites with Watford priced at 15/8 while the draw is priced at 23/10. The Hammers are currently 11/2 seventh favourites for relegation, while their visitors were pushed out to 22/1 for the drop following their impressive victory over Chelsea. Javier Hernandez heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2 while Troy Deeney is rated the Hornets' main threat at 6/1 to break the deadlock.
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