Preview - Watford

Vicarage Road

When and where?

Watford v West Ham United
Premier League
Saturday 25 February 2017, 5.30pm GMT
Vicarage Road

What’s the story?

West Ham United make their long-awaited return to Premier League action on Saturday with a teatime trip to Watford.

Two weeks have passed since they were last in action, so Slaven Bilic’s men will be itching to take on the Hornets – especially as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to them at London Stadium back in September.

That scoreline looked unlikely when Michail Antonio stooped to head in following a Dimitri Payet rabona cross and put the Hammers 2-0 up with 33 minutes played.

But Watford came back strongly to level before the break, then score two more in the second half to leave the Hammers deflated.

That was the Hammers’ first league defeat at London Stadium, but they have looked up since and head into this game tenth in the table – seven places higher than they were following defeat to Watford.

Walter Mazzarri’s team are 13th in the Premier League, two points behind the Hammers after successive victories at the start of the month ended a seven-game winless run.

Those 2-1 successes against Arsenal and Burnley were followed by a 2-0 loss at Manchester United, but the Hornets will be feeling more comfortable than they were a month ago.

Team news

West Ham United will assess Andy Carroll’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s game, after the striker has been absent from training since picking up a minor groin niggle recently.

Bilic remains hopeful of being able to call upon the big No9, while Arthur Masuaku is available after a knee injury and Aaron Cresswell has shaken off a knock.

Andre Ayew is available following his participation at the Africa Cup of Nations, but Angelo Ogbonna (knee) and Diafra Sakho (back) are sidelined.

The Hornets could be without six players for the visit of the Hammers, with a number of issues in defence.

Christian Kabasele has not recovered from a muscle injury, while Walter Mazzarri has doubts over Sebastian Prodl and Craig Cathcart.

Nordin Amrabat remains sidelined and former Hammer Valon Behrami is listed as a doubt. Back-up goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon completes the injured list.

Player head-to-head

Tom Cleverley v Robert Snodgrass head-to-head

How do I get to the game?

Watford have produced a guide for visiting supporters, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Accessibility supporters can view a guide to Vicarage Road by clicking here.

If you’re travelling to the game by train, London Midland and London Overground services from Euston serve Watford Junction station, while London Overground services also call at Watford High Street. Check or for up-to-the-minute travel information.

The latest news on the roads can be found by clicking here.

How can I watch the game?

This match is being broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport. You can also follow all the action as it happens on, with live audio commentary, social media updates, in-running stats, photos and more. Join the conversation on social using the hashtag #WATWHU