Whisper it, but Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham are slowly building momentum.

Two impressive league results were followed up by a dismantling of Macclesfield Town in midweek.

That saw many of Pellegrini’s fringe players grasp their chance to be centre stage; which offers him some selection dilemmas ahead of the weekend visit of Manchester United.

Ahead of the visit of Jose Mourinho’s men, we’ve taken a look at some of the big selection calls. Here, we examine whether Robert Snodgrass has forced his way into contention…

What are the options?

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Snodgrass was fielded in a number 10 role against Macclesfield in midweek and performed superbly. He scored twice and laid on three more assists.

However, he usually looks more at home playing on the right of midfield, cutting in. At a push, he could play as an out and out left-winger as well.

Who would he be up against?

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Obviously, it depends on where Pellegrini deploys him. Out on the right, he would likely be up against a rejuvenated Luke Shaw.

The former Southampton man has recovered his form this season and established himself as United’s first-choice left-back.


If he played as a number 10, he could be faced by the powerful double pivot of Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini.

Neither man is particularly mobile, so the Scot could get some joy in that area.

The Debate

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On the right, Snodgrass is in direct competition with Andriy Yarmolenko. The Ukrainian won the game at Goodison two weeks ago, but spurned the chance to clinch victory against Chelsea.

Few would dispute that the former Borussia Dortmund man is the superior talent; it’s only that glaring miss last weekend that would open the door.

The situation in the centre of the pitch is more open. West Ham’s league revival has come with a 4-3-3, eliminating the number 10 role completely.

The injuries to Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez may convince Pellegrini to keep Pedro Obiang or Mark Noble in reserve and go 4-2-3-1; which would open the door for Snodgrass.

The Verdict

Snodgrass cannot do any more than he is doing, but he should remain on the bench for this one. He is not as big a threat as Yarmolenko and it would be a risk for Pellegrini to reformat his midfield against an elite side.

The Scot will hope to get the last half an hour, by which point the Hammers could well be looking for a win against Jose Mourinho’s faltering side. But he must remain patient.

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