West Ham’s Tomkins set for a start against Norwich

With West Ham defender Winston Reid battling with jet lag after returning from New Zealand this week, defender James Tomkins is set to start at Carrow Road on Saturday

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is set to restore James Tomkins to the heart of the defence for Saturday’s trip to Norwich City.

The Hammers boss has opted for a partnership of James Collins and Winston Reid so far this season, but with the New Zealander playing international football in Auckland on Tuesday he is unlikely to return to training until today (Thursday).

With that in mind, Tomkins is likely to get the nod, but Allardyce has other problems to solve before picking his team for the Carrow Road clash on Saturday.

After Matt Taylor scored and made one goal in the 3-0 thumping of Fulham last time out, he will be keen to keep hold of his starting place.


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But he will come under pressure from club record signing Matt Jarvis, who has recovered from the thigh injury that ruled him out of the last Premier League game.

Taylor was left angry when Allardyce thrust Jarvis straight into the starting line-up at Swansea City and the manager has to be careful not to upset the former Bolton winger again in East Anglia.

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Perhaps the biggest choice is who to play in the lone striking role.

With Andy Carroll injured, Carlton Cole would seem the obvious choice, but Mali international Modibo Maiga is knocking hard on the door.

He scored in the Capital One Cup victory over Crewe and could have had a couple more, while he was also on target for Mali at the weekend.

Cole remains favourite to take the starting spot, but Maiga is breathing down his neck and eager to show what he can do in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Allardyce is still running the rule over a couple of trialists.

Defender John Mensah has been training with the club for the past three weeks, while 19-year-old French striker Abidou Badirou has also been on trial for the last fortnight.

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