West Ham close to full strength for Burnley trip
PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 October 2017
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Hernandez a doubt but Lanzini and Arnautovic likely to start at Turf Moor
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will have an almost fully fit squad to choose from as they return from the international break with a trip to high-flying Burnley tomorrow (Saturday), writes Dave Evans.
For the first time this season, the manager suggested he could field his best XI for the game.
“Since the last game there is only James Collins who is out at the moment with his ankle injury and he will be back in training with us next week,” he said.
“It is a good situation when you are looking at injuries and working on the fitness and stamina of players like Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio.”
The problem facing the manager is how to fit in his wealth of attacking talent, but it is not something he is too worried about.
“It is great to have so many attacking options,” he insisted. “It is the first time we have a chance to play the team we were looking at in pre-season.”
One wrinkle to that could be Javier Hernandez who has been in Mexico for two weeks and will have his first training session today (Friday).
“We will see how he is because he has been away, but he did score for Mexico which is great for a striker and I am expecting him to be in the squad for Burnley,” added Bilic.
Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic are both expected to start at Turf Moor, but someone else looking for a start will be striker Diafra Sakho.
The Senegal international scored the winner against Swansea City in the last game and also notched for his country to send a timely reminder to the manager, but he may still find himself on the bench.
“He scored for us and came on and did good, he also scored against Bolton and also for Senegal,” added Bilic.
“He is in a good moment, but I bet if I ask you the question would you play Andy Carroll you would say yes, would you play Chicharito, you would say yes. Some would go for others.
“It is very difficult to keep them on the pitch. It is difficult to keep everybody happy, but it goes for every manager.”
Bilic is going into the game looking for a win.
“We have trained really good and those things are the reason I am confident going into this game,” he said.