Sanchez starting v Chelsea would highlight struggle

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With your job on the line, one of the last places you would want to visit is Chelsea, and that is the task facing West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini.

The Hammers are winless since September, a run that has seen them fall down the Premier League so quickly it has most likely taken many by surprise.

Pellegrini has proved that he isn’t one for change on a weekly basis, but the game at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea is a clash where he could be forced into a number of them.

With Issa Diop suspended for the trip to Chelsea, reliable journalist Sam Inkersole has predicted that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could fill in as a defender, just as he did towards the end of the 3-2 defeat against Tottenham last time out.

Inkersole went on to suggest that would mean that Carlos Sanchez would come into the midfield alongside Mark Noble – something that only highlights the desperation surrounding the Hammers right now.

“Issa Diop will be suspended for the game on Saturday having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend and we have gone for Declan Rice to fill in at centre back rather than the out-of-form Fabian Balbuena,” he wrote for Football.London.

“That means Carlos Sanchez would come into the defensive midfield role for his first Premier League start of the season alongside Mark Noble.”

Bringing Sanchez into the midfield despite his constant struggle to perform at the London Stadium would more than highlight the desperation of Pellegrini.

The Colombian international has made two starts in the Premier League since the start of last season and has failed to even make a single tackle, interception, clearance or block in this campaign according to WhoScored – nowhere near good enough, especially against a ruthless Chelsea side.

Pellegrini selecting Sanchez would highlight the desperation surrounding the Hammers, and the manager in particular who is closing in on the last-chance saloon.

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