Wednesday, September 13, 2006

West Ham vs Palermo

West Ham are nearly at full strength for this game. John Paintsil is still out with a knee ligament injury, Teddy Sheringham has had an upset stomach and of course Ashton is out for a while yet. But Carroll, Benayoun and Mears who were all worries on Sunday managed to come through the Villa game unscathed.

The big selection headache for Pardew is whether to play Tevez and Mascherano, and if so, who does he drop. There are no excuses about the two not being used to the pace of the English game for this match, although Pardew may have some worries about changing his established midfield partnership of Mullins and Reo-Coker. Mullins seems the most likely to be dropped of the two as Mascherano plays a similar defensive midfield role. In the away leg in Scily Pardew may well go for two defensive midfielders but Reo-Coker's more attacking role will probably be the preferred option at home.

Pardew should have no problems with who to pick up front. Zamora is on fire and Harewood has looked out of sorts. On Sunday we saw a glimpse of the role Pardew expects Tevez to play, coming deep and running at defences. Tevez looks more able to open up a tight Italian defence than Harewood.


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