Manuel Pellegrini has had the whole international break to mull over the lineup that he will put out as West Ham United face Tottenham Hotspur on a day when Jose Mourinho makes his return to the Premier League.
A 3-0 loss suffered at the hands of Burnley in the Hammers’ previous game means that there could be changes made in an attempt to turn the team’s fortunes around.
That is greatly needed for a side whose winless run has now extended to seven games following that defeat at Turf Moor.
Beating bitter rivals Spurs would certainly be a way of helping to lift morale around the club, so with this in mind, here is our expected XI as Pellegrini makes three changes from the side that were humbled at Turf Moor:
Roberto may have made two mistakes during the Burnley loss, adding to the many he has made since coming in to cover for Lukasz Fabianski, but Pellegrini has hinted that he will be sticking with the Spaniard, as reported on the official club website.
Ryan Fredericks was reinstated to the side against Burnley after Pablo Zabaleta struggled against Newcastle United. Considering how much the Argentinian struggled against Allan Saint-Maximin, it seems likely that Fredericks will be adding to his 10 starts this season.
Issa Diop has played every Premier League game so far, meaning that alongside Declan Rice and Sebastien Haller he is pretty much nailed on to be playing in this game.
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Angelo Ogbonna has been picked ahead of Fabian Balbuena here, after the Paraguayan’s role in Burnley’s second goal. The Italian has also been better statistically across the campaign, indicating he deserves the chance to step in.
Arthur Masuaku spoke to Manuel Pellegrini about his recent lack of game time, as reported by Football Insider, and there is the possibility that he could now be reinstated back into the team, continuing the trend of rotation at left-back.
Andriy Yarmolenko didn’t start against Burnley, but having assisted Ukraine’s late equaliser against Serbia, he could get the nod to start this time around.
Michail Antonio was considered here, but as he is only just returning from injury it may be wise to bring him off the bench.
Mark Noble has recovered from the injury that forced him off against Burnley, so he should be able to regain his place in the midfield. This would see Pablo Fornals miss out on a place in the team, though the captain is more likely to play, especially when it is considered how underwhelming the Spaniard has been.
Having scored against both Sheffield United and Newcastle United, it can be reasonably expected that Snodgrass will be featuring against Spurs.
Felipe Anderson has been slightly underwhelming this season, failing to score a single goal so far, but he has still managed three assists. Pellegrini will be hoping the Brazilian can replicate what he did last time Jose Mourinho came to London Stadium and get himself on the scoresheet.
Considering the team’s poor run of form, the result in this game could see the mood at West Ham rise or fall considerably, so Pellegrini will need to find the right balance in an attempt to overcome Spurs.