West Ham United go into their Premier League match against Newcastle United looking to end their run of five winless games across all competitions, as per Transfermarkt.
Even with the current poor run of form, there should be confidence among the players in claret and blue that they can get a result, with their opponents sitting 17th in the table, having already lost five times this campaign.
Manuel Pellegrini will likely have some selection dilemmas ahead of the game at London Stadium though, with certain members of the squad having come in for the 1-1 draw against Sheffield United and impressed.
With this in mind, here is our predicted XI for the Newcastle clash:
The biggest selection headache the Chilean manager will likely have is at centre-back, with Fabian Balbuena giving a good account of himself against Sheffield United, while Angelo Ogbonna has been effective this season.
However, it would feel very harsh on Ogbonna if he was to be dropped for an extended period, as he has been a solid presence at the heart of West Ham’s defence in his 8 games, averaging 1.6 tackles, 0.3 interceptions, 5.4 clearances and 1.5 blocks per game.
Pablo Zabaleta also gave a good showing against the Blades, making 2 tackles, 2 clearances and 3 interceptions, but it feels unlikely he will be able to usurp Ryan Fredericks for a long period of time.
The 27-year-old has excelled this season, indicating that he could be the long-term right-back option the club has been crying out for, as highlighted in our Profit Players feature, so it would be a surprise to see him left out again.
The last player to come in and make an impact during the game is Robert Snodgrass, who managed to get on the scoresheet, pleasing many of the club’s fans with his performance.
Manuel Pellegrini also showed his delight for Snodgrass in his press conference ahead of the Newcastle United clash, as he was quoted on West Ham’s official website as saying: “For different reasons, Robert wasn’t playing. We had new players in his position but he is a good player that works well. He’s renewed his contract and, when he has his opportunities, he plays like he did in the last game. I’m very happy for him.”
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