After a pulsating weekend of Premier League action, we swiftly move onto another round of fixtures in the same competition. West Ham United bounced back in an impressive fashion after their loss to Manchester City. They swept aside a listless Newcastle United side 3-0 and will look to carry the momentum into the game against Cardiff City tomorrow night.
Pellegrini is slowly starting to instil his ideas into the new setup and the recent displays have been promising while at the same time showing the process will not be an overnight one. Injuries have certainly slowed things down but with a couple of key players coming back into the fold, the Chilean will believe the time is ripe for the Hammers to get a move on after bouts of inconsistency over the course of the season.
Recent history bodes well for the home team. They have won their last 6 games in all competitions against the Bluebirds. On top of that, Cardiff’s recent record on the road is not a pretty one with Neil Warnock’s side having lost their last 4 away fixtures.
WEST HAM UNITED TEAM NEWS
Aaron Cresswell (hamstring) is a doubt having hobbled off in the win against Newcastle. With the games coming thick and fast, he is unlikely to be risked tomorrow. Ryan Fredericks, Andriy Yarmolenko, Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Carlos Sanchez are long-term absentees.
PREDICTED WEST HAM UNITED LINEUP VS CARDIFF CITY (4-1-4-1)
Lukasz Fabianski will start in goal. He had a fine outing having gathered a clean sheet on the weekend. He will aim for something similar tomorrow.
Pablo Zabaleta might well get a rest given his age and the impending fixture list. Michail Antonio is an option if Pellegrini wishes to use him. Cresswell is unlikely to be risked which means we will see Arthur Masuaku start at left-back.
Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena should retain their places in central defence.
Declan Rice is expected to start in front of the defence. His fine start to the season has not petered out and he is fast becoming indispensable in the midfield.
We back Jack Wilshere to start alongside Pedro Obiang in central midfield. The former Arsenal star made his return from injury last week and will look forward to playing from the start.
Felipe Anderson is likely to start on the left-wing. He has settled well into the side but will look to increase his end product and a match against Cardiff might be the perfect opportunity to score in back to back matches.
We are going with Grady Diangana on the right flank. He will be eager to get back on the pitch after his short break from the first-team action and has to take the opportunity if he indeed gets it.
Even though Marko Arnautovic was taken off after 71 minutes against the Magpies, his recent tryst with near-injuries might dissuade Pellegrini from starting him again which might see Javier Hernandez get a role up front. He is in good touch after scoring a brace last time out and will be keen to get some sort of a run going.