By Emma Sanders
West Ham should start Andre Ayew and Darren Randolph against Manchester United in the EFL Cup clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
Striker Ayew should replace Diafra Sakho who picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw against United on Saturday after he scored his side’s only goal but will be unavailable for the mid-week cup tie.
Ayew, who joined for £20 million in the summer, should be given a rare start up front in his absence while Ashley Fletcher misses out on a chance to feature against his old club.
The Hammers’ league form has been poor this season and they will have one eye on their clash against Arsenal this weekend, so should make a few changes to rest some of their regular stars.
Nonetheless, a cup semi-final is up for grabs so Dimitri Payet should start in his usual play-maker role, while Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli line up in attack.
James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna should also retain their places in defence but Winston Reid, who is available following his one-match suspension ban, should replace Cheikhou Kouyate.
Darren Randolph was sensational against United on Sunday and, although Adrian has made 11 league appearances this season, it should be the Republic of Ireland international who retains his place.
He will be counted upon to keep his side in the game as the Hammers will hope to produce a similarly organised defensive performance to overcome United and give themselves the best possibility of staying in the game.
Manuel Lanzini should replace Pedro Obiang in midfield in order to rest him for the clash against Arsenal but Aaron Cresswell, Mark Noble and Michail Antonio should retain their places in midfield.
In the latest West Ham transfer news, Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic is at the top of the club’s transfer list this January.