Date: 10th January 2019 at 1:57pm
Written by:

OPINION

West Ham United secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a third round 2-0 win over Birmingham City on Saturday.

The Hammers had a taste of victory thanks to Marko Arnautovic scoring in the first half before being substituted, with Andy Carroll adding to the tally in stoppage time of the game.

They host Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday, and in order to achieve a good result against the Gunners, Manuel Pellegrini must make six changes to the side that won at the weekend.

In goal, despite having a smooth-running game, second choice Adrian must make way for regular number one Lukasz Fabianski in between the sticks.

The next two changes must come either side of the defence, with Michail Antonio – who is on £70,000-a-week [Spotrac] – being axed, with ever-reliable Pablo Zabaleta coming in to replace him.

Aaron Cresswell wins the race for the left-back role on this occasion after proving his pedigree over Arthur Masuaku in recent times, a player who must be dropped from the starting XI due to his inability to perform defensive duties to a high standard.

Pedro Obiang must be the fourth change to the side to take on Arsenal, with Mark Noble taking his spot. The 5ft 11in [Transfermarkt] ace would provide more of a defensive barrier in the midfield compared to Obiang, something which is essential when your opponents have one of the best attacks in the Premier League.

Despite new signing Samir Nasri performing to a good standard on Saturday, he must be dropped in favour of Robert Snodgrass, while Xande Silva should come out in order to accommodate Felipe Anderson.

Marko Arnautovic should keep his place spearheading West Ham’s attack, despite the Austrian being substituted in the first half on Saturday.

Pellegrini must make the right calls regarding the starting XI if he wants his team to achieve a good result against Unai Emery’s side – as there is no doubt that they would be able to defy the odds if the correct changes are made.