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The Attack Question

The Hammers may have a good selection problem once all forwards and wingers are fit.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Let’s play out a hypothetical situation where all of West Ham’s forwards and wingers are fit. The list includes:

Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Simone Zaza, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Jonathan Calleri, Andre Ayew, Ashley Fletcher, Toni Martinez, Sofiane Feghouli, Gökhan Töre, Edimilson Fernandes and Michail Antonio.

How does Slaven Bilic handle the selection problem? If there is one player, Payet, who will always be in the side if fit, that leaves five more places in the side (Payet, less the four backs). If the central midfield is a combination of Pedro Obiang, Cheik Kouyate and Mark Noble, we are left with two positions open. Assuming Ayew, Carroll and Sakho return to form, who are the last two players on the field? Is this when the Antonio at right back experiment returns, keeping him on the field while allowing space for more playmakers? At first glance, it seems that Lanzini would automatically be placed in the side, but who would be the striker? Will Carroll displace Zaza? Does Ayew pair with Sakho, with their runs opening up space for Payet? Do you drop one of Obiang, Noble or Kouyate?