West Ham United welcome Watford to the London Stadium as they look to chalk up two out of two wins at their new home. Slaven Bilic has had a roller-coaster summer with a whole lot of injuries and signings and new deals along with moving to a new stadium. After the frenzy of the transfer window and the timely break of the international matches, similar to the other managers, Bilic would be looking at starting afresh with most of his stars making a comeback. Walter Mazzarri too has added considerably to the squad and will be looking to chalk up his first win of the season after some uplifting but ultimately futile performances in the first 3 matches. While West Ham will be considered as favourites, Watford have shown they are capable of standing their own against bigger opponents.
We look at 3 key battles which could have a bearing on the final result tomorrow.
DMITRI PAYET VS DARYL JANMAAT
The French international has been passed fit and he will be welcomed back into the fold with relief after the Hammers looked shorn of any sort of creativity in most parts. He will take up his favourite position on the left-hand side of the attacking line and will be looking to be the chief creator. He likes to cut inside and shoot on goal and his nimble footwork also attracts fouls resulting in free kicks, at which he is so adept. Janmaat will have to be on his toes all afternoon as he is in line to be selected in the right full back position. Not only does he have to stop the player from getting the crosses in he also has to be careful not to concede any silly free kicks around the box.
TROY DEENEY VS WINSTON REID
Winston Reid is expected to shake off a minor niggle to take his place at the heart of the back four. He along with Collins will be up against the busy and effective (on their day) pair of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney. The duo up top will be Watford’s best hope for a goal and with Pereyra providing ammunition, Deeney will be hopeful of getting back to his scarily consistent ways. It will be an engaging tussle between the two parties.
BRITOS & HOLEBAS VS MICHAIL ANTONIO
Antonio has been on fire this season. Afforded the chance to bomb forward after having a shackled role last season, he has shown the amount of damage he can cause up front. With the raw physical power and pace, he will be a handful for the pair to deal with tomorrow. He has already scored two goals and both with headers. So, he has to be properly marked in the box with the likes of Payet and Masuaku expected to deliver a good number of crosses into the box.