Belfast Telegraph

Manuel Lanzini could make West Ham return against Fulham

Lanzini has not played this season due to a knee injury.

West Ham have missed Manuel Lanzini this season (Martin Rickett/PA)
West Ham have missed Manuel Lanzini this season (Martin Rickett/PA)

West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini is in contention for his first appearance of the season against Fulham on Friday night.

The Argentinian has been sidelined since suffering a serious knee injury while on international duty before the World Cup.

But Lanzini has been training for the last couple of weeks and could make a welcome return at the London Stadium.

Samir Nasri is also available after a slight calf problem, but doubts continue to surround fellow midfielder Jack Wilshere.

The 27-year-old has endured another injury-hit season and manager Manuel Pellegrini is still in the dark over when he will return from his latest ankle problem.

“For this game we have the squad which played most of the games and maybe Lanzini and Nasri can be included on that squad list,” said Pellegrini.

“They worked not only today but they worked the complete week. We will talk to the medical staff about whether we can use them.

“All four playmakers in our squad were injured, which is always difficult, so the return of both of them injects more quality into the squad.”

Wilshere has made just one brief substitute appearance since September 1 and has been given a prolonged period of rest in a bid to clear up his ankle issue.

“We will analyse Jack Wilshere next week, then we will be more clear about his future,” added Pellegrini.

The Hammers take on a Fulham side floundering eight points adrift of safety and without an away win to their name this season.

“It’s a tricky game against a team fighting not to be relegated,” said Pellegrini.

“They have a good manager and signed a lot of good players, so it will not be easy if we don’t play as we did against Liverpool and in the first 45 minutes against Crystal Palace.

“We must start the game fast and play well with a good tempo to get the result that we want.”

Press Association

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