West Ham winger Andriy Yarmolenko could be rested this weekend after a poor performance against Aston Villa. Manuel Pellegrini will be weighing up his options and Yarmolenko is one of the candidates to drop to the bench.
The Hammers host Manchester United this weekend – a fixture in which Yarmolenko excelled last season. But he is still getting back to his full fitness after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Pellegrini has options in reserve if he feels it is time for Yarmolenko to drop to the bench.
Here are three West Ham midfielders who could push for a start at the expense of Yarmolenko.
Pablo Fornals joined West Ham from Villarreal in the summer but he is yet to start in the Premier League. Pellegrini has slowly been getting him up to speed and he netted in the EFL Cup against Newport County.
This will give the Spain U21 international some confidence. If he is selected in the starting line-up, he could operate centrally or out wide with Manuel Lanzini doing the other role. Fornals will need to be more incisive than he was against Aston Villa, though.
The safe bet for Pellegrini would be to select Robert Snodgrass. The Scotland international is an industrious and hardworking midfielder who covers a lot of ground when he plays.
He also offers a major threat from set-pieces, which could be the key to breaking through Man United’s rearguard. Snodgrass is a safe option for Pellegrini, although the other two alternatives are more exciting.
Pellegrini might put Lanzini out wide to accommodate Jack Wilshere in the middle of the park. The 27-year-old was West Ham’s best player in pre-season but he has not clicked into gear in the Premier League yet.
When he is fully fit and firing, Wilshere is one of West Ham’s best players, picking passes with ease and carrying the ball forward in the midfield. But the ex-Arsenal star will need to build on his goal against Newport if he is recalled against Man United. He has a point to prove.