Slav set for crucial Palace decisions

tomkins-255812Slaven Bilic is set to make some crucial defensive decisions as players return for selection at the weekend.

The Hammers will be seeking a double over former boss Alan Pardew’s Palace at the Boelyn and he is set to select the starting X1 from his strongest squad for some time.

Both James Tomkins and James Collins are expected to be back and available for selection according to David Gold and Sam Byram is set to return  after suspension following a yellow card against Sunderland.

With both Tomkins and the former Leeds right back having missed a run of games it will be interesting to see who the manager picks to starts with the odds probably favouring Byram who has been injury-free.

Eithr way, it’s probably pad news for the visitors as Michail Antnio is released from defensive duties and should again be useful to terrorise defences with his fierce running.

Collins will almost certainly start on the bench given Slav’s  careful approach with players returning after a break of this nature although Angelo Ogbonna’s would make him difficult to break straight back in anyway.


About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

15 comments on “Slav set for crucial Palace decisions

  1. Full squad to choose from and it’s a problem? I don’t think so.
    Trust in Slav – the balance of his starting 11 and the bench will give him all the options he needs.

  2. It’s the Antonio factor that makes me think that Tomkins should get game time before the cup replay, so we can terrorise Man U with Antonio, Lansini and Payet behind Sahko.
    We need Tomks to play some minutes in the Palace / Arsenal games.

  3. I reckon Reid has more to worry about than Ogbonna with Collins returning

  4. This is the type of decisions we need to see from Bilic and his team before we decide on improving contracts. If Bilic decides to give Antonio a rest, it will be interesting who he decides to play at RB. It would be Tomkins all day long for me, he just has more experience than Byran who imo has not set the world alight defensively. I would be worried to see Byran up against Bolasie or Sako. But these are the decisions I want to see the manager getting right. My team on sat would be Adrian, Tomks (or Oxford), Reid, Ogbanna, Cresswell, midfield 3 of Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini with Payet tucked in behind Sakho and Valencia. Moses, Antonio and Carroll on the bench.

  5. These are the decisions I would like to see Bilic getting right. I would worry if Byran was at RB against physically intimidating players like Sako and Bolasie. It would be Tomks or Oxford for me all day long. I feel Byran’s performances have been average since he has arrived. I still believe we need to buy a top RB during the summer. Valencia and Sakho and Payet all day long for me up top with Noble, Kouyate and Lanzini in the middle.

  6. Yeah let’s have a proper RB available in Byram & play Oxford there instead.Top thinking Johnham,lol 🙂

  7. I understand your thoughts on not playing Byram with him being cup tied,but we need 3 points and I think Byram is fitter then Tomkins and a natural right back and it will give Tomo another week to get back his sharpness,
    Antonio has had a weeks rest thanks to Woy so why hold him back,
    Byram Reid Ogbonna Cresswell
    Kouyate Noble
    Antonio Lanzini Payet
    Bench Randolf,Tomkins,Valencia,Carroll,Moses,Emineke,Oxford or Ginge
    Personally I would give Ginge one more week

  8. Some bench !! Were getting there lads !
    We are a strong squad and logically speaking why risk tonks and ginge when there’s no need , the beauty of the bench is that it can be changed at anytime ,
    Obiang and song makes my bench in place of ginge , and oxford who has a niggle ,purely because most mentioned are offensive and has more cover for m/f .
    Slavs choice !.

  9. Play Byran against Bolasie or Sako watch us concede. sorry guys hope I am not right.

  10. And I find it incredible that people think Antonio is a better player than Valencia, very strange thinking but that’s football, its all about opinions.

    • Both of their first touches are further than I could kick it… but I’d select the Ant ahead of Enner on the wing all day

    • Well he’s scored more goals , box to box , and like Valencia has pace , he’s stronger , can dribble , ? he’s an out and out winger / wingback ,
      I love Valencia but its the bard for me on the wing , and to be honest I don’t really know Valencias true position for west ham ,he is played out of position IMO , he’s a striker for his country and that’s why we bought him but sakho made Valencias position his own unexpectedly and put him in no mans land ?
      He is a 4.4.2 player , a good squad player who brings something different , like the rest !
      Bilic picks the team , that’s why we are in a good place , Antonio has done more than enough to make himself a regular , stats prove it , so I don’t see you’re logic in picking Valencia above the bard ? Not about opinions at all ? Antonio picks himself on form , end of
      really !!!

  11. Will be interesting to see I think Collins or Tompkins would likely replace Reid and slot into the right centre back position, there is a case to play Tompkins at right back because Bolasie is such a threat and he is a better defender than Byram but who knows ? The midfield is also interesting how will he combat the threat Cabaye poses ? Again it is a game where Song should play but probably won’t.

  12. Byram won’t need to defend,Saturday is the day we rip a team to pieces this season 😉

  13. I hope Slav picks the team and not some of you lot on here. Ha ha.

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