Photo by Avril Husband/West Ham United via Getty Images

Manchester City visit is perfect time for Andy Carroll's return

West Ham could be boosted by the return of Andy Carroll this weekend, according to Sky Sports News and other media outlets.

Carroll played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford during the international break as he nears his comeback from injury.

With the 29-year-old available for selection, could this be the perfect time for Pellegrini to bring him back?

The Andy Carroll debate

Andy Carroll is infamous for his injury concerns. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)


Many West Ham fans have become increasingly frustrated with Carroll over the years, due to his constant injuries.

And rightly so. In nearly six-and-a-half years with the Hammers, Carroll has only managed 114 appearances for the club.

But there is no denying that he is a useful player when he does make his rare appearances in claret and blue.

At what he does, Carroll is one of the most effective players in world football.

His 6ft 4in frame, impressive leap and physical strength mean he is tough to compete with in the air.

But with his contract running out at the end of the year, a large section of West Ham fans would rather see him released (or sold in January).

The argument is that he is more trouble than he is worth, considering his hefty wages and lack of playing time.

Why he could hold the key to Man City shock

Defenders struggle to contain a fully fit Andy Carroll in the air. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Manchester City are one of the deadliest teams in Europe and often tear mid-table teams apart with their free-flowing football.

The likes of Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Lukasz Fabianski and Declan Rice are going to be kept very busy as West Ham try to contain Man City’s stars.

But if there is a weak point in their side, it is the physicality of the defence.

All of Man City’s defenders are ball-players, comfortable in possession and strong in the tackle.

You would expect John Stones and Aymeric Laporte to be confident that they can deal with a semi-fit Marko Arnautovic if he is starved of service.

But would Laporte have ever faced a challenge like marking Carroll? The towering Hammers powerhouse is a threat from set-pieces and crosses that go into the box.

Using his aerial presence, he can bring others into play and threaten the goal as well.

If West Ham can stay in the game until the closing 20 minutes, Carroll could be the man to come on and provide a shock.

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