West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has provided an update on a key trio ahead of the clash with Brighton.
West Ham entertain the Seagulls at the London Stadium looking to get back to winning ways to start the new year.
The Hammers endured a disappointing end to a record-breaking December when they lost 2-0 to Burnley last time out.
Pellegrini’s side picked up more points (15) last month than in any other in their Premier League history.
Pellergini speaks on injury situation
It has propelled the East Londoners into contention for a European place.
And West Ham can go as high as eighth with a win over Chris Hughton’s side.
Hampered by a Premier League-worst injury list Pellegrini blamed fatigue for the dismal defeat at Turf Moor.
There has been speculation whether those problems are set to ease or get worse with question marks over experienced duo Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez while Fabian Balbuena’s absence continues to be felt.
Pellegrini has spoken about the injury situation ahead of the game revealing Chicharito and Balbuena are definitely out.
“Maybe Pablo Zabaleta can return,” Pellegrini told whufc.com.
“Sunday was the first day he didn’t have the fever and we’ll see with him. The other injured players won’t be ready. Javier had the injury against Watford and he needs at least 10 days more to recover.”
Assuming Zabaleta does return to the starting line-up Pellegrini looks set to make three changes to the side for Brighton. That will see the triple A attack of Antonio, Anderson and Arnautovic in action.
Pablo Zabaleta in for Michail Antonio who replaces Lucas Perez
Zabaleta will come back into the side in place of Michail Antonio at right back. That will allow Antonio to move back up front alongside Marko Arnautovic taking the place of ineffectual Lucas Perez.
Pedro Obiang in for Mark Noble
West Ham looked infinitely better with Pedro Obiang in the centre of midfield at Southampton. Obiang has barely played this season due to injury so is fresh. Noble looked leggy at Burnley and was chasing shadows. Obiang will come back in alongside Rice and Robert Snodrgass.
Predicted West Ham XI to face Brighton:
Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Obiang, Snodgrass, Anderson, Antonio, Arnautovic.