Watford’s trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham United sees head coach Javi Gracia go head-to-head with former managerial colleague Manuel Pellegrini.

Gracia was manager of the Villarreal youth team when the West Ham boss was in charge of the senior squad and he has praised both his personality and his abilities as a coach.

He said: “I was with him and I know him well from when I was training the Under-18s at Villarreal when he was in the first team. He’s a very nice person and I have a very good opinion about him as a person and a coach as well.”

Under Pellegrini’s stewardship, Villarreal reached the semi-final of the Champions League and it is feats like this that Gracia believes make him a good manager.

He said: “He did amazing work at Villarreal but also at Real Madrid as well, he did an amazing job. He always does.

“It doesn’t surprise me to see West Ham playing so well now. They didn’t start well but now they are improving and I’m sure they will compete very well against us.”

Despite West Ham’s upturn in form that has seen them win four consecutive matches, Gracia trusts his players to get the job done against the Hammers.

He added: “We try to prepare for all the games as best as possible and against West Ham it is no different.

“All the points are important and it’s our mentality to realise the next points are the most important ones.

“We adapt for the game we are playing and we trust all the players we have. It’s not a problem for us who we are facing, we are ready.”