West Ham given boost as star duo receive all-clear for Swansea
PUBLISHED: 09:30 29 September 2017
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Lanzini and Antonio are fit but only one will start against the Swans
West Ham have been boosted by the news that both Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio will be in the squad for the home clash with Swansea City tomorrow (Saturday).
Lanzini was expected to play a part, but the news that Antonio will be fit as well is something of a surprise.
“Manuel is back in the squad and we will also have Michail as his injury was not that bad,” said manager Slaven Bilic at yesterday’s press conference.
“There was always a chance Michail may be available for Swansea and Edimilson Fernandes is also fit which is good. That means the only one who is still out is Pedro Obiang, everyone else is fit.”
Swansea sit just one point ahead of the Hammers going into the game at the London Stadium, though they are unbeaten away from home and haven’t conceded.
Bilic admitted he couldn’t risk both players from the start as neither are likely to be able to play 90 minutes. So is Lanzini fit enough to start?
“That is the million dollar question,” he added. “He has been training for 10 days now, so it is not just a couple of days. Can he last 90 minutes? I don’t think so.
“But he is the most important player, though I can say that for a few players, but in one aspect of the game, he is vital. He has that quality. It is great to have him back, but is he going to start or be on the bench? We will decide on match day.”
With Lanzini back, Bilic may well revert to a back four against a Swansea side not renowned for their free scoring this season.
“We are talking about it,” he added. “We have more stability when we have three or five at the back, but then you are missing one attacking player.
“You need a little bit more at home, so the key is to find the balance and have stability at the back and at the same time to have all your attacking players on the pitch.”
Antonio is perhaps more likely to be on the bench, so was it a surprise that he is available.
“Knowing the player it is not a surprise,” said Bilic. “It wasn’t like the injury he had against Swansea last season. He just felt a bit on a different spot to the one he had a couple of days before. We are going to see with him, according to the medical team, there is no risk.”
Arthur Masuaku may well come into the starting line-up after impressing in the last two games at the expense of Aaron Creswell.
Bilic will also decide whether to partner Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez up front to gether. Both have great records against Swansea in the past.