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Inkersole: Left back is Pellegrini’s ‘big decision’ v Oxford

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West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has a ‘big decision’ to make at left back against Oxford United on Wednesday night, according to Football London correspondent Sam Inkersole.

England international Aaron Cresswell came into the Hammers’ starting line up for Sunday’s victory against Manchester United, with nominal starter Arthur Masuaku suspended.

Inkersole wrote: “There is a big decision for the manager to make at left back as whoever plays there on Wednesday is probably going therefore [to] be on the bench for the Premier League visit to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

“Aaron Cresswell enjoyed a goalscoring return to the team when he netted against United on Sunday in place of the suspended Masuaku and we have put the Englishman in from the start at Oxford, with Masuaku to return on Saturday. That said, it could quite easily be vice-versa.”


This is probably the most difficult call for Pellegrini on Wednesday, to be fair. Things like Roberto coming in for Lukasz Fabianski in goal, Pablo Zabaleta in for Ryan Fredericks at right back, Albian Ajeti in for Sebastien Haller up front, seem like pretty straightforward decisions against League One opposition. However, left back is an interesting one. It’s all down to who his starter is in the Premier League. As Inkersole says, whoever is in line to face Bournemouth on Saturday will likely be rested on Wednesday night. Masuaku has been the main man so far this season, and had been doing very well until his sending off against Aston Villa. That opened the door for Cresswell to produce a tremendous performance against United. Is that enough for him to wrest the starting spot from the DR Congo international? You’d lean towards no, but we will get our answer in full at the Kassam Stadium on Wednesday.

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