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Manuel Pellegrini stated in Thursday’s press conference that Mark Noble has a problem with his back, but didn’t elaborate on the severity of the club captain’s injury or indeed if he was ruled out of this weekend’s match.
Pellegrini faces a dilemma in central midfield, having seen Noble and Jack Wilshere overrun in the engine room when rolling out a 4-4-2 in the defeat to Bournemouth last weekend.
If Noble is unavailable, Carlos Sanchez or Pedro Obiang could deputise alongside Wilshere, but a change back to a three-man central midfield would appear on the cards after their Gameweek 2 struggles.
In such an eventuality, both Obiang and Sanchez could start with Wilshere, with Declan Rice another option in the middle.
Andriy Yarmolenko has yet to make a league start for the Hammers, though Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio haven’t impressed in his stead and the Ukrainian winger could be given a chance on the right flank on Saturday.
Javier Hernandez started alongside Marko Arnautovic in the 2-1 defeat to the Cherries, but might be sacrificed here in order for Pellegrini to reinforce his midfield.
Ryan Fredericks, Aaron Cresswell and Issa Diop will be pushing for starts in defence, meanwhile, after missing out last weekend.
Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll are long-term absentees.