West Ham set to have 8 players ruled out of starting Newcastle match
It is West Ham up next for Rafa Benitez and his team.
Newcastle United having made it a trio of victories at Burnley, with four points the gap to the drop zone.
Just as Newcastle are hitting form, the Hammers have only one win since September.
That victory also coming against Burnley, West Ham winning 4-2 at the London Stadium but having to rely on two goals in the final six minutes.
The scorer of the opening goal that day was Marko Arnautovic and now the East London club’s top scorer is a big doubt for the game at St James Park.
The Hammers talisman might be moody and yet again making noises about wanting a move but with five goals so far, he is undoubtedly their biggest threat.
West Ham were taken apart 4-0 at home by Manchester City, three down in the opening 34 minutes as Guardiola’s men coasted the rest of the game.
With the game long gone and all three subs already used, Arnautovic foolishly tried to carry on despite clearly being injured, though not long before the final whistle the striker did hobble off.
He is now a big doubt for the game and would make it at least six West Ham players unavailable to face Newcastle.
The London Evening Standard have listed Winston Reid (Knee), Carlos Sanchez (Knee), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Manuel Lanzini (ACL) and Ryan Fredericks (Fibula), as all definitely missing on Saturday.
In reality, it is probably going to be eight or more West Ham players who aren’t in a proper condition to start against Newcastle.
Andy Carroll is back from his latest injury but last Saturday was the first time he’d made a matchday squad, so very unlikely he would be risked in the starting eleven.
Whilst just as unlikely is Jack Wilshere to make the team. Brought in as a free agent on massive wages, the former Arsenal player made four starts early on but hasn’t played for 13 weeks due to an ankle injury.
He hasn’t even made the bench so far, including against Man City, so despite being back in training the most the former England player could hope for is to be included amongst the substitutes.
That all sounds positive for the Newcastle camp and Rafa Benitez at least had Jonjo Shelvey back involved last night, even though he wasn’t called from the bench.
With Diame and Ki in excellent form in the 2-1 victory, an interesting selection lies ahead for Rafa Benitez.
We also await news on how likely it will be before we see the likes of Lascelles, Muto and Dummett back playing again.
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