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West Ham starting XI Manuel Pellegrini should pick vs Aston Villa

Premiership Picks

West Ham United are looking to record a fourth successive win in all competitions when they face Aston Villa at Villa Park on Monday night.

With everyone else already playing, the Irons know that they will jump into third position should they bring the three points back to east London, and would subsequently only sit behind Manchester City on goal difference.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini could name an unchanged side for the third Premier League match running, but he would be wise to make at least one change.

Here’s the starting XI we think the Chilean should select against Dean Smith’s men…

When it comes to his back five and with no new injury problems to report, it makes sense for Pellegrini to continue with the players that are serving him so well right now – Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks, Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku at full-back, and Angelo Ogbonna partnering Issa Diop at the heart of the defence.

The latter duo will be looking to stop the physical threat of Wesley, who has made a decent enough start to his Villa career with one goal in four outings.

One of the Midlands outfit’s main strengths appears to be in the centre of the park where they have the likes of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Jack Grealish, and it is an area which already looks as though it could be an interesting one when you bring Declan Rice and Mark Noble into the equation, too.

Pellegrini should bring in another battling player in Carlos Sanchez into the middle for his first Premier League start since September 2018, in order to win that important battle.

That means that Manuel Lanzini moves into a wide position in attack with Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller, with Andriy Yarmolenko the man to drop out.

That may seem harsh given the Ukraine international scored against Norwich last time out, but having only recently returned from a serious injury it is also sensible not to push him too hard at this early stage of the campaign.

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Article title: West Ham starting XI Manuel Pellegrini should pick vs Aston Villa

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