28-year-old returns in Bilic 3-4-3: West Ham best possible XI v Tottenham
COMMENT by Abigail Withey
Slaven Bilic should make two changes to a team that has kept two consecutive clean sheets and is unbeaten in four, if he wants to get anything out of the game against Spurs on Friday.
Andy Carroll should be fit to lead the line, in a team that’s struggled for goals without him. If he is then he must slot straight back into leading the line for the Hammers, who have struggled for goals without him.
With his threat back up top, the good news for the Hammers is that Bilic’s switch to a back three has paid immediate dividends, with two consecutive clean sheets.
Jose Fonte, James Collins and Winston Reid must reprise the defensive shield, in front of a newly-restored Adrian to ensure that Spurs have to battle to get anything from the game.
Mark Noble must be reinstated into midfield, after failing to win his place back after suspension.
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His appearance on the team sheet will inspire the team, despite the captain coming in for criticism from fans this season.
Noble will come in for Havard Nordtveit, who will drop to the bench, and he’ll line-up alongside Cheikhou Kouyaté, Arthur Masuaku and Edmilson Fernandes in midfield.
Carroll should be supported in attack by Andre Ayew and Manuel Lanzini. Ayew, in particular, will be desperate to score after being denied a goal at the weekend against Stoke.
The most important figure in the team will undoubtably be Carroll, however. And, if the defence can keep a rampant Spurs at bay, he could hold the key to an unlikely victory.
In other West Ham news, Adrian adds further spice to Tottenham clash against West Ham.