West Ham expected 4-2-3-1 v Burnley: 27-year-old starts first game since April 1
By Will Butcher
Slaven Bilic is expected to make one change to his West Ham side to face Burnley on Sunday afternoon as they travel to Lancashire to play at Turf Moor.
Algeria international Sofiane Feghouli will start his first match for the east London outfit since April 1, as the 27-year-old continues to struggle in his first season on these shores.
The inclusion of the former Valencia winger could see him replace defender Winston Reid who has undergone surgery to correct a long-standing knee injury that has dogged him this season.
Head physio Vandenbroucke delivered an update on West Ham’s official website earlier this week, which stated six first-team stars would miss this weekend’s clash.
However, he did reveal Italy international Angelo Ogbonna would be fit to feature.
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He is expected to start from the bench as Reid, Mark Noble, Diafra Sakho, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll all miss out.
Adrian should remain in goal and will be buoyant after his current contract was extended until the summer of 2019, after re-assuming his place in between the sticks over Darren Randolph.
Sam Byram has come under plenty of criticism at right-back, but he is likely to start as Bilic is expected to revert to a four-man defence with Jose Fonte and James Collins at centre-back.
Defender Aaron Cresswell is set to start on the left side of defence, and will look to connect with ex-Swansea ace Andre Ayew who was guilty of missing a sitter against Liverpool last time out.
In the middle of the park, Edimilson Fernandes and Havard Nordtveit are expected to combine for a second successive match, while Feghouli is likely to occupy the right flank.
Manuel Lanzini’s recent performances have been a rare shining light in the Hammers’ side, and he is likely to sit in front of Fernandes and Nordtveit in order to connect midfield and attack.
Leading the line should be Argentinian loanee Jonathan Calleri, who will be desperate to make an impression as the Burnley clash looks to be his last opportunity to earn a permanent move.
The Hammers will be hopeful they can cause a repeat of the reverse fixture that saw them win 1-0 at the London Stadium, thanks to a goal from captain Noble.
In other West Ham news, Alan Curbishley is unsure over a reported deal for this Premier League forward.