West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed captain Mark Noble and Michail Antonio will both be available for selection against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
The Irons boss was undertaking press conference duties ahead of Saturday’s match with Spurs – who, of course, are now managed by Jose Mourinho after he replaced Mauricio Pochettino on Wednesday morning.
The Hammers are currently on a run of six games without a win and are desperately in need of three points with the pressure mounting on the manager.
They’ll be hoping to spoil the party for Mourinho, and Pellegrini will have the help of two influential players to help do just that.
He said (official website): “Both of them worked with the whole week without any problem. They will be involved in the game on Saturday.
“Of course, they are important players for us. Antonio has had a long injury and he is a player that makes a difference in attack. Mark Noble is the captain of the team too. Both of them will be in the squad list and are able to play.”
Antonio is back after recovering from surgery on a torn hamstring, while Noble has shaken off an ankle issue sustained against Burnley before the international break.
TBR’s view – Two very timely returns
It’s a new era for Spurs who will likely be raring to go on Saturday under new manager Mourinho.
Noble and Antonio’s returns are key for the Hammers.
Noble may not be a game-changer in terms of his on-the-ball ability, but his leadership undoubtedly changes the team for the better.
And Antonio has the potential to be a handful for any team with his physicality.
Spurs centre-backs Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez have all been poor this term and the Englishman can get some joy if selected.