By Harvey Byrne
Manuel Lanzini and Havard Nordtveit could be axed when West Ham take on Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon at the London Stadium.
Slaven Bilic is likely to bring in Sam Byram and Sofiane Feghouli to replace the senior duo given the club’s recent poor form.
The Hammers have conceded 14 goals in their previous four matches leaving the east London side in 18th after six matches and it has become apparent that changes need to be made to the side.
Lanzini and Nordtveit were hauled off in the most recent clash against Southampton with the pair giving less than impressive performances on the pitch and Bilic has the squad depth available to him to bring them out of the starting eleven.
Simone Zaza, who joined the club in the summer from Juventus is still searching for his first goal for the club.
However, given the high profile nature of his signing he will be expected to start in the line-up against newly promoted Middlesbrough.
Feghouli will likely line up just behind him with star duo Michail Antonio and Dimitri Payet either side of the Algeria international.
Club stalwart and captain Mark Noble looks set to maintain his place in midfield with Cheikhou Kouyate beside him.
The midfield duo are likely to line-up in front of Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna, who will both be keen to improve on the club’s current poor defensive record.
Experienced full-back Alvaro Arbeloa will be expected to maintain his place at left-back following the injuries to Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell.
The Hammers will be keen to put an end to their recent run of four straight league defeats before the international break.
Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side are also going through a poor run of form, losing their last three matches and Bilic will be looking at the fixture as a good opportunity to pick up a much needed victory.
In other West Ham team news, David Gold has told fans that he is “disappointed” with the club’s start to the season.