Like many of the Premier League’s managers Sam Allardyce must settle on his best XI sooner rather than later, so we’ve attempted to help him with our own version.
After a solid first campaign back in the big time in 2012/13 produced a 10-place finish, there should still be plenty of interest around the Hammers’ 13/8 price on posting another top-half placement come May.’
There have been some notable additions to the squad, with Andy Carroll being joined by old Liverpool team-mate Stewart Downing, while Shakhtar Donetsk full back Razvan Rat and Real Betis goalkeeper Adrian arrived on free transfers.
But, just what is West Ham’s best line-up?
This surely has to be Jussi Jaaskelainen’s last season in goal, though some stand-out performances from the Premier League’s longest-serving foreign player last term, mean the 38-year-old still gets the nod.
Winston Reid and James Collins have formed a solid looking partnership and haven’t yet conceded a goal form open play from their three opening league games in 2013/14.
So far, Allardyce has opted to keep faith with Guy Demel at right back, while playing Joey O’Brien out of position at left back, but with Rat, a recognised lefty now in the squad, he has to slot in at Demel’s expense.
The shockwaves occur in the middle of the park where local boy Mark Noble is dropped in favour of former Manchester United protégé Ravel Morrison, back in east London after a successful loan at Birmingham.
At just 20, this is a bold move, but Noble’s performance levels since half-way of last season have seriously dropped off and he often goes missing, so the youngster deserves his break.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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