Watford vs West Ham preview, betting tips and prediction: Hornets to frustrate Moyes' Hammers bow

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Watford to win with Richarlison to score anytime

Score draw

Watford to win 2-0

Slaven Bilic remains a cult hero with West Ham fans, but you’d be hard pressed to find many who wouldn’t have ended his almost two and a half year reign as manager this season. The Croat had been living on borrowed time for some time now, and a 4-1 loss at home to Liverpool proved to be the final straw. The Hammers are looking like serious relegation fodder, but that hasn’t stopped supporters voicing their displeasure at the decision to bring in David Moyes as a replacement.

The Scot has a huge job on to not only get the fans and a seemingly divided squad onside very quickly, but to repair his own damaged reputation after poor spells at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and more recently Sunderland. That starts with a trip to an impressive Watford side who, despite losing their last two games, are looking good for a top half finish under Marco Silva already this tem. Silva himself is attracting interest from Everton, but reports suggest an approach has been rejected.

We think this one will be a tough game for Moyes, but it could give him some food for thought.

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Form

Watford were expected to struggle by some people who didn’t see Silva making the impact he has at Vicarage Road this season. His impressive, attacking style is winning as many admirers as points. The Hornets were unlucky not to win at Chelsea, and they beat Arsenal at home; only recently have things gone off the boil. Defeats at home to Stoke and away at Everton have taken the gloss off their start to the season, but they still have more than enough quality to get back on track in this game on Saturday.

Understandably, the jury is out on West Ham now Moyes has arrived, but they could scarcely have been worse in a number of performances recently. The problems went back as far as the defeat to Newcastle in August, but conceding seven in two games against Brighton and Liverpool, as well as losing a 2-0 lead at bottom club Crystal Palace, mean Moyes picks up the baton with his new side in the bottom three with the joint second worst goal difference in the league at -12.

Team News

Watford will be without captain Troy Deeney as he continues to serve a three-match ban for a violent conduct incident in the loss to Stoke, so Andre Gray, the club’s record signing, will continue up front. Richarlison, who has arguably been the catalyst for the team’s fine overall form, will support him. Saturday is likely to come too soon for defensive midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, who underwent a knee operation in September, but there is better news with both Isaac Success and Roberto Pereyra likely to return to the squad.

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Sam Byram is likely to be West Ham’s only absentee with a thigh injury, meaning Moyes should be able to call upon both defender James Collins and Michail Antonio at the weekend. Winston Reid should start as he continues to build up his own fitness after injury.

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