Early West Ham team news for Wolves: Two return, one ruled out, a couple of doubts, a big relief and some jet lag as Premier League resumes.
The final international break of the year is over – thank goodness – and West Ham are back in Prem action at Wolves on Saturday.
The Hammers went into the international break in superb form, unbeaten in six games – winning five of them – and having secured a memorable 3-2 win over Liverpool.
That put David Moyes’s side up to third in the table.
And West Ham know a win at Wolves could see them go level on points with leaders Chelsea depending on their result at Leicester in the lunchtime kick-off.
Moyes will start to get his players back in dribs and drabs over the coming days.
Key man Michail Antonio faces a long trip back from Jamaica after scoring two of the best goals of his career during the international break.
Early West Ham team news for Wolves: Two return, one ruled out, a couple of doubts, a big relief and some jet lag
Looking ahead to the Wolves clash and there is some early team news we can deduce.
Two players we know will return to strengthen Moyes’s options are Nikola Vlasic and Andriy Yarmolenko.
Both players missed the win over Liverpool. But they will be back – likely on the bench – having featured for Croatia and Ukraine respectively during the break.
One player definitely ruled out is Angelo Ogbonna. The veteran Italian defender suffered an ACL injury against Liverpool and could miss the rest of the season.
West Ham potentially have a couple of doubts for the game too.
There were concerns over Pablo Fornals and Tomas Soucek after both players failed to play for Spain and Czech Republic in this week’s matches.
Fornals was dropped from the Spain squad entirely as they beat Sweden 1-0 to make it to the World Cup.
The West Ham midfield ace was seen celebrating with his teammates afterwards, suggesting he did not have any serious injury.
But it could be he picked up a knock as he has been excellent for West Ham and had impressed in previous games for Spain too.
West Ham today allayed fears Soucek is injured after he too did not feature for the Czechs in their win over Estonia.
Declan Rice should be fit depending on how badly affected he has been by a bout of flu which saw him withdraw from the England squad.
Rice will have had nearly two weeks to recover so fingers crossed he, Fornals and Soucek will be fit and raring to go after a deserved rest.
There was big relief that Antonio came through two matches with Jamaica unscathed. In fact he continued his superb form in a 1-1 draw with USA which saw him score this world class goal and break a seven-year duck when it comes to scoring from outside the box.
Getting Antonio back fit and confident will be a big relief to Moyes ahead of 12 games in just over four weeks.
One issue the Hammers will have to manage is that West Ham’s increasing band of internationals may have a touch of jetlag following lots of travelling of late.
West Ham’s stars will have to get used to it, though, such is the life of players at a club playing in Europe with players representing their countries.
Potential starting XI vs Wolves if Rice, Fornals and Soucek are all fit:
Fabianski, Johnson, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Bowen, Benrahma, Antonio.