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Published: 12:34 | 8/9/16

Payet could start against Hornets

Dimitri Payet is in line to make his first start of the season for West Ham when they face Watford on Saturday.

A thigh problem has restricted Payet to just one appearance from the substitute’s bench this season but he is closing in on a return to the starting line-up after coming on for France against Italy and Belarus.

Manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed that the midfielder will be in the squad to face the Hornets and is hopeful that he will be deemed fit enough to start.

"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," Bilic told his pre-match press conference.

"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."

Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nordtveit could all feature for the Hammers at the weekend and Bilic is pleased to have the majority of his injured players available.

"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."

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