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The seven West Ham players who could fail to make first 20-man matchday squad for return to action against Wolves
Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images

The seven West Ham players who could fail to make first 20-man matchday squad for return to action against Wolves

West Ham United are set to renew their battle for Premier League survival when the season resumes against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

West Ham were due to play Wolves when the season was shutdown due to the global health crisis.

Three months on West Ham face nine games in six weeks to stay up.

There are a host of alterations and temporary rules in place to help clubs.

Photo by Justin Setterfield Getty Images

West Ham to face Wolves three months after shutdown stopped original game

Two of those are five substitutions per game rather than three and matchday squads of 20 players as oppose to 17.

A bigger squad means more options and less of a squad selection headache for West Ham boss David Moyes.

But it also means anyone fit and available who is not selected will be left feeling a touch out in the cold.

So which players might fail to make the cut for West Ham’s first 20-man squad against Wolves?

Here’s our prediction about seven players who might miss out and why.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Seven players who might miss first 20-man squad

David Martin

Now seen as the number three goalkeeper David Martin will likely miss out on the squad. He is a great character around the dressing room, though, so may take it on himself to support the team from the sidelines if permitted.

Pablo Zabaleta

There is still no news on whether Pablo Zabaleta will be retained for an extra month. The veteran has barely featured and Moyes has used Jeremy Ngakia ahead of him when Ryan Fredericks and Ben Johnson were injured. Ngakia’s contract impasse complicates things. But with him, Fredericks and Johnson all fit including another right-back in the squad might be overkill. Indeed West Ham may have decided to save £300,000 in wages by cutting Zabaleta at the end of June to help towards Ngakia’s demands.

Carlos Sanchez

The ageing flop has not contributed anything positive to West Ham on the pitch since signing. And he looks certain to leave on June 30th. It is therefore highly unlikely he will make the 20-man squad for Wolves.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Angelo Ogbonna

West Ham’s biggest worry ahead of their Premier League return is the absence of key defender Angelo Ogbonna. The Italian has not been able to train fully or play in either of the club’s friendlies against QPR and Crystal Palace. That could see young untested centre back Goncalo Cardoso make the squad.

Mark Noble

The captain is an injury concern after not featuring in West Ham’s 2-1 friendly win over Crystal Palace at the weekend. He did feature against QPR before that, though.

Arthur Masuaku

Another injury doubt after missing the Palace friendly. He too featured – and scored – against QPR a few days before.

Albian Ajeti

The £8million flop scored against QPR in last week’s friendly. But with Antonio, Bowen and Haller all fit and Yarmolenko also capable of playing in a forward role, Ajeti will miss out.

Predicted 20-man West Ham squad to face Wolves:

Fabianski, Randolph, Cresswell, Balbuena, Diop, Fredericks, Cardoso, Ngakia, Anderson, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Wilshere, Rice, Antonio, Fornals, Johnson, Soucek, Yarmolenko, Haller, Bowen.