Cheikhou Kouyate has signed a lucrative new West Ham contract

COMMENT By Dominic Toner

West Ham should play Cheikhou Kouyate in midfield against Swansea in the Premier League meeting on Boxing Day.

Slaven Bilic should make one change to his starting XI, with Havard Nordtveit replacing the suspended Pedro Obiang in the side.

The Hammers midfielder Obiang will miss the away match against Swansea through suspension, but Kouyate should push forward into midfield and Nordtveit cover his centre-back role.

Kouyate has been transformed into a centre-back by Bilic this campaign, but he has looked vulnerable defensively.

The 27-year-old’s best position is as a central midfielder and he has already shown that in a West Ham shirt, meaning he should partner skipper Mark Noble.

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Nordtveit, 26, should be recalled to the starting line up and he can slot into the three-man defence.

Darren Randolph should keep his place in goal after back-to-back clean sheets in the 1-0 victories against Burnley and Hull.

Nordteil will slot into a back-three alongside senior defenders Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna.

West Ham have found success with this formation recently, so wing-backs Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio should continue to offer great energy on the flanks.

Noble and Kouyate have played together before and the midfielders should give the Hammers a solid anchor in front of the defence.

Kouyate will be allowed to be more expansive in possession and show his ability to dribble past a player.

Bilic should stick with the same attacking set-up, but needs his star players Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll to start delivering consistent performances.

In other West Ham team news, Paul Merson has predicted why the club will lost against Swansea.