By Will Butcher

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is set to welcome back Euro 2016 star Dimitri Payet to the starting eleven after recovering from injury.

The Hammers 2015-16 player of the season has made just one substitute appearance this season, but played in the final third of France’s 2018 World Cup qualifying 0-0 draw against Belarus on Tuesday.

The London Evening Standard claimed on Wednesday that Payet could be fit enough to feature against the Hornets following his appearance for France, while Algeria international Sofiane Feghouli could also be in the squad after recovering from injury.


Payet’s return could be one of four changes Bilic makes to his side following their 3-1 loss to Manchester City, with new loan signing Simone Zaza set to make his debut for the East London outfit to simultaneously ease the Hammers’ striker woes.

Former Leeds right-back Sam Byram is expected to come in on the right side of defence in place of James Collins.

The 23-year-old is set to keep out new signing Alvaro Arbeloa, and allow in-form winger Michail Antonio to assume his preferred right-midfield position.

Manuel Lanzini made his first appearance for the Hammers from the bench against City prior to the international break, following a knee injury that kept him out of Argentina’s 2016 Olympics campaign.

Now, he is set to replace Enner Valencia as former Croatia and Besiktas manager Bilic reverts to a more recognised 4-2-3-1 system. Havard Nordtveit is also expected to return from injury but may have to settle for a place on the bench.

In other West Ham team news, the agent of this striker has revealed summer interest from the Hammers.