West Ham commence their Premier League campaign with a trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday in Manuel Pellegrini’s first game in charge.
The Hammers were one of the busiest clubs in the transfer window this summer, bringing in nine new faces to their senior squad – including two Deadline Day acquisitions in Lucas Perez and Carlos Sanchez, although both of whom are not expected to start on Merseyside.
There is, however, a number of players lined-up to make their debuts as we have identified the likely line-up selected by Pellegrini.
Goalkeeper – Fabianski
Signed from relegated Swansea City, Lukasz Fabianski arrives at West Ham as the new first-choice stopper for the Hammers and is likely to slot straight into the side for the trip to face Liverpool – where he could be kept very busy.
Despite being relegated last term, the Poland international was one of the stand-out performances for the south Wales side and he would still be a capable stopper for a number of bigger Premier League sides, which means the Hammers have pulled off a real coup.
Defence – Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Diop, Cresswell
Veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta will face competition for his spot on the right-side this season from Ryan Fredericks, signed on a free transfer from Fulham, but Pellegrini is likely to choose experience up against Liverpool’s devastating attacking options.
The signings of Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena have given Angelo Ogbonna plenty of competition for his spot in the heart of defence but he is expected to get the nod after missing just six Premier League matches last season, with new 21-year-old recruit Issa Diop playing alongside him.
Speculation suggested that West Ham could have looked to land a new left-back this summer but that proved not to be the case, with Aaron Cresswell instead set to be first-choice this season down the flank ahead of Arthur Masuaku in the pecking order.
Midfield – Obiang, Noble, Wilshere
Still heavily linked with a move to Sampdoria, West Ham lack depth in central midfield and must surely retain the services of Pedro Obiang. The midfielder featured 21 times for the Hammers last season, scoring two goals.
West Ham’s experienced captain may have seen his long-term replacement signed this summer in compatriot Jack Wilshere but the first campaign under Pellegrini will see Mark Noble partner the new recruit in the heart of midfield.
After years struggling with injury and being overlooked for the World Cup in Russia, Jack Wilshere arrives at West Ham with plenty to prove and is likely to be one of the first names on Manuel Pellegrini’s team-sheet this season – as long as he remains fit.
Attack – Yarmolenko, Anderson, Arnautovic
West Ham secured a significant coup in landing Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund and, despite the Ukraine international carrying a slight knock, he is expected to get the nod on the right-flank of an attacking trio.
On the opposing side, West Ham have two options as they could utilise Marko Arnautovic in his natural position or call upon Felipe Anderson. West Ham’s new club-record signing arrives from Lazio with plenty of expectation but that should perhaps be limited, as he scored just four goals in Serie A last year.
Still, the Brazilian provides a creative hub after registering seven assists in his final campaign in Rome and could forge a deadly trio alongside Arnautovic and Anderson.