West Ham locks horns with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday at the London Stadium as they look to register their first points of this edition of the Premier League. After three consecutive defeats, the Hammers bounced back and picked up a win against AFC Wimbledon to progress to the third round of the Carabao Cup.
On the contrary, Nuno Espirito Santo has drilled his side well in the league so far. They came back from behind to hold Everton to a draw and salvaged a point against the champions.
Marco Arnautovic is fit to return to the starting XI, having recovered from a knee injury. Along with him, Mark Noble is fit too. Meanwhile, Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid are long-term casualties.
The experienced Lukacz Fabianski will start in goal for the Irons. His defence will include Fredericks and Masuaku as full-backs. While the former stays deep and wide, Masuaku has a bit more license to surge forward and whip crosses into the box.
The centre-back pairing is expected to remain the same as the previous PL game against the Gunners, despite putting up underwhelming performances. Issa Diop and Balbuena will guard the central defence for Pellegrini’s side.
Carlos Sanchez and Mark Noble will occupy central midfield. Although both of them are good players with the ball, they need to start playing and positioning themselves like a defensive midfield pair.
Andriy Yarmolenko must start ahead of Robert Snodgrass. The former Borussia Dortmund winger illustrated his craft and dynamism in the short cameo against Arsenal. The left flank will be manned by Felipe Anderson, who’s counter-attacking prowess, pace and skills have already made him a fan favourite at East London.
Jack Wilshere will play as a number 10. He will have to brush aside recent failures at Arsenal and Bournemouth and accept every challenge as it arrives.
Arnautovic is fit and ready to go against newly-promoted Wolves. The forward is an excellent finisher, whose movement off the ball is praiseworthy. He is also a fine dribbler.
Probable XI (4-2-3-1)
Ryan Fredericks – Fabian Balbuena – Issa Diop – Arthur Masuaku
Mark Noble – Carlos Sanchez
Andriy Yarmolenko – Jack Wilshere – Felipe Anderson