Match Preview – West Ham v Watford

By Frankie Levin – @FrankWHUFC

Watford travel to the London Stadium this Saturday with the Hammers seeking their fifth consecutive Premier League win for the first time in 12 years.

Wins against Newcastle, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Fulham have pushed Manuel Pellegrini’s side up to ninth with many fans now optimistic of finishing in a Europa League spot.

Javi Gracia’s side picked up their first Premier League win since October by overcoming Cardiff 3-2 last Saturday.

Watford sit one place below West Ham in the league table in 10th – only goal difference separates the two sides.

Hammers boss Pellegrini spoke about the importance of the busy festive period. He said: “I always say that December is a key month for any team.

“We need to play so many games, and this could be the part of the year that decides a team’s future.”

As for team news, Spanish forward Lucas Perez is available for selection for the Hammers after recovering from a foot injury. Marko Arnautovic is close to returning but is not available this weekend.

Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere, Carlos Sanchez, Ryan Fredericks and Winston Reid all remain long-term absentees for the hosts.

Watford have Etienne Capoue at their disposal again as he returns from suspension, but Andre Gray, Will Hughes, Adalberto Penaranda and Sebastian Prodl remain sidelined.

The visitors are without a clean sheet in their last seven Premier League outings, and with the Hammers scoring goals for fun, it will be difficult for the Hornets to end that streak come Saturday.

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