West Ham expected 4-2-3-1 v Chelsea: Key man returns in three changes
By Harvey Byrne
Key left-back Aaron Cresswell is expected to return to West Ham’s line-up to face Chelsea at the London Stadium on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old served his suspension on the weekend after being sent off for the Hammers during their league 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace.
He has only made the one appearance in the new campaign following an injury picked up in pre-season and Slaven Bilic will be keen for the English full-back to get up to match fitness.
He will be expected to step in for Cheikhou Kouyate, with Bilic likely to switch to a back four again with Cresswell’s return.
However, the Croatian boss won’t be expected to change too much from their last league clash, as the east London side will be keen for a victory over Chelsea.
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They also have the added bonus of playing on Wednesday and then again on Sunday, which gives them some valuable recovery time.
Full-back Alvaro Arbeloa will be expected to return to the club’s back four with Edimilson Fernandes dropping out.
The final change will likely be goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who has been selected as the cup goalkeeper, stepping in for Spaniard Adrian.
Forward Simone Zaza is still in search for his first goal for the Hammers after joining in the summer with a high reputation and he will be keen to do so in a vital fixture against former manager Antonio Conte.
The attacking trio of Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio will be looking to supply the Italian and their pace and trickery will be sure to cause problems to Chelsea’s back line.
The Hammers made the third round of the competition in the last campaign, where they were knocked out be champions Leicester in a 2-1 defeat after extra-time.
The east London side have never won the cup, but they have finished runners up twice in 1966 and 1981.
In other West Ham team news, Stan Collymore has criticised Hammers star Dimitri Payet.