West Ham have injury doubts for Ipswich clash

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is pondering changes for Tuesday night’s clash with Ipswich Town at Upton Park

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce will wait on the fitness of Matt Taylor and Joey O’Brien before selecting his team for Tuesday night’s clash with Ipswich Town at Upton Park.

The Hammers will be looking to follow-up Saturday’s narrow 1-0 home win over Peterborough United with another three points against the Suffolk side and Allardyce is not expected to make many changes.

“For me, it’s about assessing what team to play because we’ve got Matt Taylor with a slight calf problem and Joey O’Brien with a little bit of a tight hamstring.

“Other than that I don’t see any problems, but there are other members of the squad who weren’t even on the bench today who are desperate to get into the frame, so we’ll look at the situation and see whether we can make one or two changes for Tuesday night.”

David Bentley will be looking for a first start after two impressive displays off the bench and he is likely to replace Julien Faubert if Taylor passes his fitness test.

John Carew may also come in for Carlton Cole who was suffering from a bad cold on Saturday, while James Tomkins will also be hoping to return after being a substitute on Saturday.

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Allardyce has stuck with his 4-5-1 formation rigidly this season and that is making it tough for new signing Sam Baldock to muscle his way into the team.

However, the manager has insisted that his chance will come: “He will start, as soon as I can get him into the side and see what he can do, I’ll do it, but at the moment it’s difficult to change a winning side,” said the manager.

“But a three-game week is obviously an opportunity to look at that. My anxiety is that I’m still learning about all the players I have.”

Ipswich come into the match on the back of an impressive 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Paul Jewell’s team currently sit a disappointing 13th in the table with 10 points having conceded seven goals at Peterborough and five at home to Southampton already this season.

Midfielder Keith Andrews is their top scorer with four goals and will be the one to watch, but West Ham will be favourites to win the match.

Defender O’Brien knows how important victories at Upton Park are. “It is important to have a good record here, especially with the fans,” he said.

“Obviously it will be a hard game on Tuesday night. Ipswich are a good team and playing on Saturday and Tuesday is always hard to do.

“But I think if you want to win the league then these are the sort of games that you need to win.”

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