West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has admitted that the Hammers have missed Dimitri Payet whilst he has been out of action.
The France midfielder was one of the stars of Euro 2016 but has made just one appearance – from the bench – for the Hammers so far due to a thigh problem.
But Payet, who hit 12 goals last term, has proved his fitness with two substitute appearances for Les Bleus and is poised to go straight back into the starting line-up against Watford this weekend.
“He hasn’t played for us, apart from as a substitute against Chelsea, but he played 45 minutes for France against Italy, and then 35 minutes against Belarus,” said Hammers manager Bilic.
“He’s going to definitely be in the squad. I’m expecting him to be fit and ready and, if he is, he is going to start the game.
“We have missed him. You are going to miss that kind of player, it’s the same for every club.
“France missed him, they were better when he came on. With his quality in open play we have been missing him.”
Bilic can also welcome back Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nordtveit from injury problems.
“We needed the international break for a couple of reasons,” added Bilic. “We needed a couple of weeks to get players back fit and we had played five games in the space of two weeks.
“With the injuries it was tough. Now hopefully a few of them are back. It’s not a new start for us but with the players who are back I am very optimistic.”
Bilic could hand a debut to his club-record signing, Italy striker Simone Zaza, against the Hornets.