West Ham vs Watford preview: Javi Gracia unconcerned by goal-shy strikers Watford manager Javi Gracia is remaining calm over the shortage of goals from recognised strikers as he looks to make it back-to-back wins when his side face West Ham.
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The Hornets ended a six-game winless streak by overcoming Cardiff 3-2 at Vicarage Road, but Troy Deeney continued his personal barren run against the Bluebirds.
Ahead of the visit to the London Stadium, the Spaniard said: “It’s good for the team to choose different ways to score and not only depend on the strikers because sometimes all the players have to score, including wingers, midfielders, defenders, like Jose (Holebas) in the last game, and I think it’s good for the team.
“I’m not worried about whether or not our strikers are scoring more goals because we create more chances in every game. More than the other teams I think. One day one player will score, another day someone else will score. It’s not a problem for me.”
West Ham will be looking to make it five Premier League wins on the trot for the first time since 2006.
“The most important thing is to be in the top six at the end of the season,” said Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini.
West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic could be back in training next week, but the visit of Watford will come too soon.
The Austrian. who has scored five goals this season, suffered a hamstring injury against Cardiff on December 4 and was expected to be sidelined until well into the new year.
But Pellegrini revealed Arnautovic is ahead of schedule, meaning he could even be involved in the squad against Southampton on December 27 and Burnley three days later.
Lucas Perez (foot) will be assessed but Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks (both ankle), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Carlos Sanchez (knee), Winston Reid (knee) and Manuel Lanzini (ACL) remain long-term absentees.
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Gracia will continue to be without Andre Gray, Will Hughes, Adalberto Penaranda and Sebastian Prodl, all sidelined through injury, but Etienne Capoue is available against after suspension.
West Ham have turned the corner, and are playing with a lot of confidence. They’ve got some good players, have a nice run of games and are punishing teams. They look like they’ve got a bit of a swagger.
They’ve got goals in them, that’s what I like, and they’re becoming hard to break down too. Watford returned to form with a much-needed victory over Cardiff on Saturday, but I’m going for West Ham