Hammers Sweat Over The General And Cress's Fitness

West Ham will give late fitness tests to Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena,'The General', ahead of tonight's clash with Cardiff City at the London Stadium. Cresswell went off early in the 2nd half against Newcastle and Balbuena picked up a nasty knock later in the same half, of the two Cresswell is most likely to not be available as he has a 'hammy' situation and that usually means at least a couple of games out even in the best case scenario.

Injuries are part of the game, and the frenetic pace of the Premier League which makes it the most viewed in the World exacerbates the extent and regularity of players picking up lengthy injuries, to lose one key defender is problematic but to lose two would be a major blow. Balbuena has forged a superb partnership with Issa Diop at the heart of Hammers defence, they already have an almost telepathic line of communication that will only get better over time, missing the 'General' could be a key issue against a Cardiff side that will have been well prepped by Neil Warnock.

One thing that is for sure there will be no lack of endeavour from the visitors and they will have a plan, a plan that will more than likely involve 'taking' Felipe Anderson out of the game in order to prevent him having a similar influence on the game as he did during Saturday's 3-0 victory over Newcastle at St James' Park. Of course, if they divert too many resources to containing Anderson then that will leave gaps elsewhere that can be exploited by Arnoutovic, Snodgrass and Chicharito if Pellegrini elects to start the Mexican again.

Realistically few people, apart from Manuel Pellegrini, thought that Hammers would get anything better than a draw last weekend, but now the onus is on the team to secure back to back Premier League victories for the first time in two years tonight against the visitors who have shown plenty of fight and commitment in their last few games that has seen them move out of the bottom three. Tonight's is this type of game that West Ham must start to win if there is ever going to be any hope of the 'Pele' project really taking off, it is all very well for the team to rise to the big occasion by beating or drawing with the 'elite' teams, but in the past such heroics have invariably been followed by either a lack lustre display or a 'billy big bollocks' arrogance that is rewarded with a sharp reminder that there are no easy games in the Barclays Premier League.

If Hammers can address the inconsistency of their performances, there is no reason why the team shouldn't climb the table as we approach the 'business' end of the season, Manuel Pellegrini believes, he just needs his players make it happen. - Ed



mcbikeman's picture

We can cover with ogbonna the left back is the concern as we all no....if there is a hint cresswells injury could get worse then love it or hate it put masuaku in for the game and see if the few days extra rest help him...not a perfect fit but sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth.

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