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West Ham United play host to Cardiff City at the London Stadium on Tuesday night.

Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham side have lacked any kind of consistency so far this season.

But a superb 3-0 win away at Newcastle last time out has given the whole club a boost.

The Hammers take on newly-promoted Cardiff knowing a win will not only deliver their first back-to-back Premier League victories for nearly two years but also push them to within touching distance of the top eight.

Just as Pellegrini seeks consistency from his team, though, injuries mean there will be no consistency to his team selection.

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Masuaku not trusted amid injury concerns

Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena are both doubts for the game as confirmed by the manager in his pre-match press conference (Daily Mail).

With worries over Arthur Masuaku’s defensive frailties and Angelo Ogbonna’s match fitness it leaves West Ham short.

Left-back Masuaku has endured a torrid season so far prompting savage criticism from Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson.

And Ogbonna has barely featured this season under Pellegrini with Balbuena forging an impressive partnership with Issa Diop.

So could the Chilean be ready to implement a radical solution to his problems.

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Michail Antonio in for Aaron Cresswell

Don’t panic,  not a straight swap. Pellegrini told Antonio he must be ready to deputise at right back for Pablo Zabaleta following an injury to Ryan Fredericks.


Well he will come into the side with vastly experienced Zabaleta taking Cresswell’s place on the left.

A radical and far from ideal situation at the highest level but Ogbonna is not quick enough to play on the left of a back four.

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Angelo Ogbonna in for Fabian Balbuena

While his rustiness will be a worry for West Ham, Ogbonna is an experienced defender and will come back into the side.

Pellegrini will hope the Hammers dominate at home so Ogbonna is not stretched.

Despite West Ham’s injury concerns it seems they have rediscovered their fear factor.

Rafa Benitez and Neil Warnock have been waxing lyrical about the Hammers.

And Paul Merson feels Cardiff simply won’t be able to live with West Ham’s attacking talent.

Predicted West Ham XI to face Cardiff

Fabianski, Antonio, Ogbonna, Diop, Zabaleta, Noble, Rice, Snodgrass, Anderson, Arnautovic, Hernandez.

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