West Ham pair Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Lanzini could return for the next match, according to Claret & Hugh.
Fabianski has been out since suffering an injury against Bournemouth in mid-September. Lanzini picked up a shoulder injury in early November. But both players are expected to shrug off their knocks and return for Boxing Day.
West Ham face Crystal Palace on Boxing Day after an extended break. There is no match this weekend due to Liverpool’s appearance in the Club World Cup. West Ham’s players get an extra week to rest and return fresh at Selhurst Park.
Fabianski provides timely boost
Fabianski’s imminent return comes at exactly the right time. The Poland goalkeeper’s injury coincided with a drastic downturn in form with West Ham dropping from third to just above the relegation zone.
Much of this was down to the disastrous performances of Roberto with results picking up since David Martin took over. But Martin picked up an injury in the 1-0 win at Southampton last Saturday.
With Martin injured, Roberto would have come back into the team. But Fabianski – last season’s Hammer of the Year – thankfully means that shouldn’t happen.
Which Lanzini will turn up?
Lanzini’s return could go one of two ways. The Argentina playmaker is unplayable on his day but his confidence was shot just before he picked up an injury against Burnley.
If West Ham get the Lanzini of old back, he will be like a new signing. If not, he might struggle to get back into the team. With Manuel Pellegrini now deploying a 4-4-2 system, Lanzini might have to show that he can play out wide.