West Ham expected 4-2-3-1 v Hull: Three changes as 29-year-old returns
By Will Butcher
Slaven Bilic is expected to make three changes to his West Ham side as they travel to the KCOM Stadium on Saturday to face Hull City.
The Hammers are currently on a miserable run of form that has seen them lose their last three matches against Leicester, Bournemouth and Chelsea.
Manager Bilic will be hoping to stop the rot by claiming all three points against Marco Silva’s relegation threatened side, as he welcomes back captain Mark Noble in midfield.
Noble, 29, is set to join James Collins and Robert Snodgrass in returning to the Hammers starting eleven, who replace crocked trio Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang and Michail Antonio.
Reid and Antonio pulled out of international duty with muscle injuries, while Obiang has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
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Ireland international Darren Randolph continues in goal over Spaniard Adrian, while former Leeds right-back Sam Byram will keep his place on the right side of defence.
Veteran defender Collins comes in to replace Reid alongside Euro 2016 winner Jose Fonte, with Angelo Ogbonna also sidelined after suffering a long-term knee injury in January.
Arthur Masuaku will continue his role as understudy to first-choice Aaron Cresswell at left-back, after the latter was overlooked in representing England against Germany and Lithuania.
Noble, who has now overcome a muscle problem, will wear the captain’s armband alongside tireless midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, as the Senegal ace returns to midfield after slotting in at right-back on recent occasions.
Manuel Lanzini, who has been a rare shining light in the Hammers’ side of late, will feature in front of Noble and Obiang while Snodgrass and Andre Ayew start out wide.
Carroll, who like Cresswell also missed out on an England call-up, will lead the line as he looks to add to his six goals this season despite Diafra Sakho returning to training.
Three points against Silva’s Yorkshire outfit could see the Hammers leap up the table to ninth place, if Southampton, Bournemouth and Stoke City all drop points this weekend.
In other West Ham news, the Hammers are reportedly in a four-way battle to sign a League One left-back.