By Danny Wright
West Ham are expected to make four changes to their side to face Everton at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Slaven Bilic will be forced to make two of his alterations, but is also likely to axe under-fire defender Jose Fonte as Winston Reid is available for selection after a short spell on the sidelines.
Andy Carroll has been ruled out of contention through injury while Sam Byram will miss the game after he was sent off in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland last week.
Arthur Masuaku is also set to be dropped with Aaron Cresswell returning to full fitness.
Bilic rubbished a report that he had a blazing training-ground row with Diafra Sakho in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, so the striker is expected to spearhead the Hammers attack in Carroll’s absence.
Mark Noble is also likely to return to the starting line-up after he served a one-match suspension against the Black Cats.
Darren Randolph made a costly error against Sunderland last week but is still expected to keep his place in goal against Everton on Saturday.
James Collins is likely to be Bilic’s choice to partner Reid thanks to his impressive return to first-team action in the past few weeks. He might be joined by Cresswell and Cheikhou Kouyate, who could be forced to fill in at right-back in Byram’s absence, in the back line.
Noble could partner Edimilson Fernandes in midfield as Kouyate drops into the back four.
The attacking midfield trio of Manuel Lanzini, Andre Ayew and Robert Snodgrass is likely to be unchanged against the Toffees while Sakho might play in the lone striker role.
The Hammers have only won one of their last nine Premier League outings but know that an unlikely win against Ronald Koeman’s in-form side could lift them into the top half of the standings.
However defeat, and a series of results going against them, could see them fall as low as 16th place in a congested bottom-half of the table.
In other West Ham news, Bilic has made a bold claim about this Everton player ahead of Saturday’s fixture.