West Ham United go into their game against Crystal Palace the fresher of the two sides, having not played since the 14th, due to Liverpool’s involvement in the FIFA Club World Cup.
There should also be a positive vibe in their camp, as the last game they played resulted in a 1-0 victory over Southampton – marking their second win from four games.
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However, the manager will have dilemmas to make regarding his team selection for the game at Selhurst Park, due to injury issues, returning players and suspension.
With that in mind, this is FFC’s predicted XI for their match against Crystal Palace with three changes expected.
Pellegrini has spoken about the situations regarding David Martin and Lukasz Fabianski, both of whom have suffered from hip injuries. The Chilean may be wary about risking the Poland stopper if he is not ready, so Martin could get another game between the sticks.
Ryan Fredericks is suspended for this one, having accumulated five yellow cards in the current league campaign. Ben Johnson has missed plenty of U23s games through injury this season and was taken off in the 17th minute of a recent win against Newcastle United U23s, so it is likely that Pablo Zabaleta will fill in.
It would be harsh on Fabian Balbuena to be dropped after a game in which he kept a clean sheet, but Pellegrini will surely be keen to get Issa Diop back into the team. That desire will likely be strengthened by the fact that Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly been looking at signing the Frenchman.
Aaron Cresswell and Angelo Ogbonna both keep their places in the defence having become key members of the team, as is also the case with Mark Noble and Declan Rice in midfield.
Felipe Anderson comes in for Robert Snodgrass, having recovered from his illness. His inclusion comes with the Scotsman failing to get a goal or assist in any of his last four games, while having the Brazilian would also add an injection of pace.
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Pablo Fornals has looked like a man transformed in recent weeks, getting three assists in his last four games, making him very hard to drop. There may have been a temptation to get Manuel Lanzini into the midfield as he has recovered from a shoulder injury, but he might come on from the bench this time around.
Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio worked well as a pair against Southampton, with both players being involved in the goal. Therefore they should be given the opportunity to ensure that partnership continues flourishing.