COMMENT By Danny Wright
West Ham captain Mark Noble, along with Jose Fonte and Sofiane Feghouli, are three of the players to miss out in a best combined XI of West Ham and Watford players.
The two sides lock horns on Saturday evening in a crucial match which could see Watford make up three league positions and leapfrog the Hammers if they can secure the three points at Vicarage Road.
Both sides have enjoyed a decent run of form lately and Bilic will be hopeful his West Ham side can continue their improving form which has seen them lose just one of their last five league matches.
Watford share a similar record and went four games unbeaten before Manchester United breezed to a 2-0 win over them on February 11.
Football Insider have selected who would make the best possible starting 11 between the two sides:
The goalkeeping slot is a tough call as Darren Randolph and Heurelho Gomes are two shot-stoppers that can pull out a blinder, yet instantly follow that up with a bad game.
However Randolph is relatively new to the Premier League and doesn’t look like a keeper who should be starting every week for West Ham. Gomes, on the other hand, is a lot more experienced and tends to pull off some very impressive saves.
The defence is made up of three West Ham defenders to Watford’s one, despite the Hornet’s defence conceding one less goal in the league this season.
Sebastian Prodl has been impressive in the Watford back-line this term alongside Younes Kaboul, but the Austrian’s consistency keeps him in ahead of the former Spurs man.
Joining Prodl are full-backs Aaron Cresswell and Sam Byram who are both exciting English players that vastly outweigh the talent of the Hornet’s options of Jose Holebas, Miguel Britos, Craig Cathcart and Daryl Janmaat.
Winston Reid completes the defensive line ahead of Jose Fonte and Angelo Obonna due to his commanding presence which comes courtesy of his pace and aerial ability to keep up with some of the top flight’s best strikers.
Etienne Capoue has had a brilliant season for Walter Mazzarri scoring five goals and is a no brainer to feature in the midfield ahead of Noble who has enjoyed better days playing for the Hammers.
Michail Antonio is also another easy pick. He is the Hammers’ top goalscorer this season with eight Premier League goals to his name.
He lines up on the right wing while new arrival Robert Snodgrass takes the left flank.
The former Hull man has been in brilliant form over the past two seasons and is looking to continue that at his new home in east London.
The pace and goalscoring talent of the two West Ham wingers mean they are easy choices over Watford’s best wingers; Isaac Success and Nordin Amrabat.
Roberto Pererya has enjoyed a great debut season and the former Juventus man’s passing and dribbling skills mean he makes the cut over fellow Argentian Manuel Lanzini.
There isn’t much competition up front. Andy Carroll and Troy Deeney both enjoy bullying defenders and finding the back of the net. Both are physical players who use their brute force in differing ways.
Neither club has a regular goalscoring striker but these pair are miles ahead of the competition which includes Diafra Sakho, M’Baye Niang and Stefano Okaka.
In total there are six West Ham players that make up the 11, but Watford players make up a very strong spine to this combined side. The two sides will let the talking take place on the pitch on Saturday and Bilic will be hopeful he can prove he has the best squad of players.
In other West Ham news, Sir Geoff Hurst explains why the club are doing better without Dimitri Payet.