Date: 29th August 2019 at 5:00pm
Written by:

OPINION

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini is expected to make 10 changes to his starting XI against Norwich City after overcoming Newport County in the League Cup.

The Chilean boss lined up with an experienced side full of fringe figures in Wales, the likes of Jack Wilshere, Robert Snodgrass and Pablo Zabaleta all coming in after missing out in the Premier League.

Having beaten Watford in their last league match, Pellegrini is likely to take an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach to his team selection, reverting to the exact same line up who came out 3-1 winners against the Hornets.

The only survivor from the axe should be ¬£67,000-a-week [Spotrac] centre-back Issa Diop, the 22-year-old now an established mainstay at the heart of the Hammers defence, with everyone else from Wednesday’s starting XI either dropping to the bench or out of the matchday squad.

Arthur Masuaku might not be the most defensively capable full-back in the division but he performed admirably against Watford while Ryan Fredericks and Angelo Ogbonna can also expect to take their places back in front of Lukasz Fabianski’s goal.

Jack Wilshere and Pablo Fornals might have scored against Newport but their goals are unlikely to stop them from being replaced by Declan Rice and Mark Noble, who formed a formidable partnership last weekend.

Michail Antonio’s injury blow means at least one enforced change but the likelihood is it will be all change up top, with Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko set to be tasked with supporting Sebastien Haller up top.

It means Robert Snodgrass, Albian Ajeti and Carlos Sanchez dropping out but considering the Scottish winger was left out completely against Watford, the other duo on the substitutes’ bench, it should come as no surprise.