The club source claim on their website that despite Balbuena not featuring for Paraguay during the international break, he is expected to remain on the bench for the Hammers at Goodison Park.
Claret and Hugh report that Manuel Pellegrini is likely to name an unchanged side from the one that lost 2-1 against Crystal Palace last time out at the London Stadium.
It is suggested that Declan Rice is recovering well from a virus he picked up whilst on international duty with England after their game with the Czech Republic.
Pellegrini will be looking for a similar response from their last defeat in the Premier League, where they went unbeaten in the top flight until the defeat to their London rivals. That is no reason to make drastic changes, and the Chilean is well within his rights to keep trust in the side that excelled in the opening two months of the campaign. Balbuena was axed from the Hammers’ side after the crushing defeat to Manchester City and has failed to break back into the team ever since – something that isn’t going to change soon given the form of Angelo Ogbonna alongside Issa Diop. The two European defenders have been impressive in helping the Hammers progress this season, and deserve their spots under Pellegrini. Balbuena has failed to make a single tackle, interception, or block so far according to WhoScored, and needs to prove himself more if he wants to earn back his spot in East London.