West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson back for Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Lanzini has been training without any problems for nearly two weeks.

And Anderson has recovered from a bout of illness which saw him miss the win at Southampton last time out.

They say never change a winning team.

Photo by Lintao Zhang Getty Images for Premier League

Pellegrini forced into change fans are dreading

But Pellegrini has no choice but to make a change West Ham fans have been dreading.

Ryan Fredericks is suspended for the match and so Pablo Zabaleta comes into the side for a rare start.

The last time the ageing Argentine started for the Hammers he was torn to shreds by Newcastle’s pacy forward Allan Saint-Maximin.

Photo by Kieran Galvin NurPhoto via Getty Images

Zaba vs Zaha

So supporters are understandably concerned that he will be charged with marking one of the league’s most dangerous players, Eagles hero Wilfried Zaha at Selhurst Park.


Thankfully for West Ham David Martin will be fit to play with Lukasz Fabianski given more time to recover.

There is talk coming from West Ham, though, that a defender may have to deputise taking goal kicks.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Anderson and Lanzini back, but on the bench

Anderson is likely to start on the bench and be introduced for Robert Snodgrass in the second half.

Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller will continue their promising striker partnership up front.

Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Palace:

Martin, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Snodgrass, Noble, Rice, Fornals, Antonio, Haller.

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