The EFL Cup tie against Macclesfield offers Manuel Pellegrini the opportunity to ring the changes.

That means that his stars can get a rest, and underperfomers and fringe players can get some much-needed gametime.

For some players who were not good enough during the Hammers’ winless start to the season, the tie with the League Two outfit offers a chance to belatedly get their campaign off and running.

We’ve taken a look at three players who really need to impress Pellegrini, or face even more time out of the side…

Lucas Perez

(Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Sunday’s game against Chelsea looked just like the situation for which Perez was brought in during the summer.

He was thought to offer quality backup in the event that Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez were out; as was the case on Sunday.

Instead, Pellegrini went for makeshift striker Michail Antonio. That was another slap in the face for Perez, as he has seen very limited gametime so far this campaign.

Maybe there was more to last weekend’s substitution drama against Everton than meets the eye? Whatever the reason for Sunday’s snub, Perez will surely get a chance here.

With injury doubts lingering over Arnie and Chicharito, the Spaniard will surely get the opportunity to make an impression. He must take it.


Aaron Cresswell

(Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Cresswell must have been looking forward to returning to left-back after a spell at centre-half last season, especially under a manager as attacking as Pellegrini.

However, the Scouser has underperformed so far this term. His lazy attempt to trip Adama Traore against Wolves sums up his season so far and Arthur Masuaku has deservedly taken his spot in the team.

Managers don’t tend to like changing their back four so the Macclesfield clash might be the best chance he gets to impress. He needs to in order to get his place back.

Ryan Fredericks

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

Fredericks was supposed to bring pace and dynamism to Pellegrini’s backline after his free transfer from Fulham.

In actual fact, he has looked out of his depth defensively at Premier League level and like Cresswell on the other side, deservedly lost his place.

Pellegrini has trusted the wilier Pablo Zabaleta in the last two games, and he managed to keep Eden Hazard quiet on Sunday.

The experienced Argentine will need a midweek rest, handing Fredericks a chance to prove himself. West Ham should dominate the ball, giving Fredericks ample opportunity to bomb forward.

He must show he can be solid defensively too, otherwise he will struggle to dislodge Zabaleta on a long-term basis.

Have something to tell us about this article?