David Moyes looks like repeating himself in the build-up to the Arsenal match by potentially naming an unchanged side from that which triumphed over Chelsea at the weekend.
As ever, though, David likes to keep us all guessing. After springing a surprise on Saturday by including Winston Reid against Chelsea, perhaps even more surprises are in store.
For starters, it’s been reported that Cheikhou Kouyaté is set to return to the side; having trained this week.
But with Chicharito’s return unconfirmed as yet and James Collins still said to be unavailable, what’s the betting that one or the other could return against the Gunners?
The guessing game worked on Saturday so why not again?
One big positive at the weekend was the fitness of Michail Antonio.
Sure Michail struggled towards the end of his time on the pitch but that was only to be expected after such a lengthy if intermittent absence.
It’s never easy coming back time and time again without ever really being able to reach that level of fitness that only comes with playing regularly; and Michail’s been in the unfortunate position where he’s suffered more setbacks than most.
However, he’s stuck at it in training, worked hard, and hopefully this will all pay off for him as his fitness levels increase.
And let’s not forget Andy Carroll either. The big man is still around. And although David’s approach to getting him fit might be a little different to that of Slaven Bilić's, the objectives are just the same.
Get Andy on the park and let the opposing defenders worry about him instead of everyone else wondering if he’ll get through the ninety minutes.
Having been out of (regular and consistent) action for such a long time makes it unrealistic to expect Andy to run around like a teenager.
So David will be looking to get the most out of the big striker for as long as possible until he runs out of steam. As opposed to trying to pace him over a whole game, that might be the better option for the next week or two.
It’s also been highlighted this week that David’s only real worry for the Arsenal game is about Edimilson Fernandes; who injured an ankle in training on Monday and (at the moment anyway) has reportedly yet to recover.
Of course it will all depend on the exact extent and the depth of the injury; but 48 hours isn’t generally a lot of time for anything of a soft-tissue nature to respond.
In terms of the correct injury management, the important period is during the immediate 48 – 72 hrs after the injury has been sustained; so that takes us pretty much up to kick-off time.
During this period the body needs to allow the injury to settle and for the acute stage to pass. However, although we talk about the first 48 hrs being the important time, in reality this can last up until 5 – 7 days depending on the severity of the injury sustained.
In the early days, the priorities in the treatment for all soft-tissue injuries are to relieve pain, limit swelling, and protect the injury from being aggravated further.
Acute injuries such as ankle sprains not only need time to settle, they also need to be allowed time to settle without being exposed to the risk of further injury.
Protection from unnecessary damage, therefore, becomes the first priority in injury treatment.
However, stranger things have happened when it comes to team selection and, as we said, managers springing surprises.
On that point, David will certainly be content if Arsène Wenger spends Wednesday afternoon pondering over who might turn out for the Hammers on the night.
If he does, then David will be happy; but he’ll obviously be a lot happier with the right result!