West Ham United-Watford Preview
West Ham manager David Moyes hopes the loss against Southampton was just a bad day at the office as his side prepare to next visit Watford on Tuesday.
The Hammers have stuttered in recent weeks and dropped down to sixth after a 3-2 home loss to Southampton on Boxing Day, despite occupying the Champions League spots in early December.
The visitors will also be without the suspended Declan Rice for the game at Vicarage Road, and Moyes is aiming to quickly put the Saint loss behind him.
"I didn't think it was anything like us," Moyes said. I'm hoping I can make it an off-day for us. It was not the West Ham I've been with in the last two years.
"You can have off-days. We're not any different. Today (Sunday) was a poor one. I thought we'd done enough to get ourselves back in the game and turn a bad day into a good day.
"We've got to stay in a good, strong position, and stay on the tails of the teams above us if we can, and keep moving on."
Due to coronavirus-enforced cancellations, Watford have not played since December 10 when they fell to late heartbreak against Brentford and currently sit two points above the relegation zone.
However, veteran Hornets manager Claudio Ranieri is enjoying life back in England as he eyes another relegation escape.
"It's not easy but we have to fight against everything, the opponents, COVID, the bad situation," Ranieri said.
"The ambition is to be safe at the end, the Premier League is an important thing for Watford and for me, this is the goal and the target I have in my mind.
"When I came I knew we were in a relegation battle and we continue to stay there, but I am positive and I think we will achieve the 40 points to be safe."
Watford - Emmanuel Dennis
Emmanuel Dennis has been directly involved in nine goals in his last seven Premier League games for Watford (5 goals, 4 assists), having a hand in 64% of the goals the Hornets have scored in these games (9/14).
West Ham - Michail Antonio
Michail Antonio scored his first goal in nine Premier League appearances since netting against Spurs in October. The Jamaican striker, however, has enjoyed home comforts and now has five league goals at the London Stadium this term.
- West Ham have won their final league game in just one of the last 12 calendar years (D4 L7), beating Southampton 2-1 in 2015. When playing such games away from home, the Hammers are winless since 2003 (2-0 v Nottingham Forest), drawing three and losing six since.
- West Ham have already lost against Brentford this season, having lost just one of their 12 Premier League games against promoted sides in the last two campaigns combined (W7 D4). The Hammers last lost consecutive such matches in February/September 2018 (vs Brighton and Wolves).
- Watford have lost four of their last five Premier League home games (W1), as many as they had in their previous 15 at Vicarage Road in the competition. The Hornets are looking to avoid losing three consecutive home league games within the same top-flight season for the first time since 1987-88, a run of five between February and April.
- West Ham have lost three of their last four Premier League away games (D1), as many as they had in their previous 17 on the road (W10 D4 L3).
- Having won his first four Premier League games against West Ham boss David Moyes (all with Chelsea between 2002 and 2003), Watford's Claudio Ranieri has failed to win either of his last two against the Scotsman in the competition (D1 L1), most recently a 2-1 loss with Leicester against Sunderland in December 2016.
Updated December 27, 2021