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 the right-back situation…

Who are the options?

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Ryan Fredericks is the man in possession of the shirt after an impressive performance against Macclesfield, capped with a stunning goal.

However, the more experienced Pablo Zabaleta has played the last two league matches and shackled Eden Hazard against Chelsea last Sunday.

Who will they be up against?

(Photo by Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images)

With Mourinho’s tendency to rotate, it’s tough to predict. It should be Anthony Martial, after the Frenchman was United’s only bright spark in the turgid defeat to Derby on Tuesday.


However, Alexis Sanchez is generally Mourinho’s first-choice left-winger, despite his general underperformance. Marcus Rashford is also available again after serving a suspension.

The Debate

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This battle really is pace vs experience. Whichever of United’s attacking options plays, their left-winger is likely to offer pace and running in behind.

That would appear to tip the balance in Fredericks’ favour, but his defending has been exposed at times in the Premier League this season.

Many might have expected Zabaleta to struggle up against Hazard last weekend, but he used all of his wiliness to shackle the Belgian.

Jayden Bogle’s inexperience showed on Tuesday as Martial was able to torment him at times. Perhaps Fredericks would struggle in a similar way.

The Verdict

Zabaleta has performed so well in two most recent league matches that he deserves to retain his place against his old foes United.

Fredericks was classy in midweek but it should take more than one performance against League Two opponents to get him back in the side. Zabaleta’s experience should help snuff out a faltering United attack.

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