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A month ago, this would have been a fairly favourable fixture for David Moyes’ side, although three losses on the bounce have seriously undermined their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
It’s important to take some perspective, of course, and highlight the fact it is remarkable West Ham have been so consistently good for so long, although the fact their decline has seemingly come as a result of key injuries is hugely frustrating.
For the short trip up to Vicarage Road, Moyes will be missing Rice, too. The England midfielder’s booking during the Boxing Day loss at home to Southampton sees him suspended, depriving West Ham of yet another defensive shield.
West Ham starting XI: West Ham XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Johnson, Noble, Soucek, Bowen, Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio
Injured: Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna
Suspended: Declan Rice
Date and kick-off time: 3pm, Tuesday December 28
TV channel: Amazon Prime