Slaven Bilic expects Dimitri Payet to be fit to start West Ham’s Premier League encounter against Watford on Saturday.
The influential playmaker has made just one appearance from the bench against Chelsea for the Hammers this season after playing catch-up following an extended break having helped France reach the Euro 2016 final.
Payet featured for Les Bleus as a substitute in the 3-1 friendly win over Italy and the 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw against Belarus over the international break, though, and West Ham manager Bilic is expecting to welcome his star man back into the fold.
“I have just seen Dimitri Payet and he has not played for us since the Chelsea game,” Bilic said at a pre-match news conference.
“I am expecting him to be fit and ready to start the game. We have missed him. It is the same for every club. France missed him.
“When he came on he gave them something different with his quality and set-pieces.”
Bilic also stated that the international break came at a good time for West Ham as it allowed players to recover from injury.
Among those to have returned to full fitness is Manuel Lanzini, with the Argentine having not played this season due to a knee injury prior to the Olympic Games.
“Manuel Lanzini is fully fit and all the guys who were involved in international duty have not picked up any injuries,” Bilic added.
“We needed this break to get back the injured players. Most of them will be back now. We also played five games in two weeks
“The key for us is to stay away from injuries and to improve the team spirit and motivation that we had last year.”
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