The giant killing 0-0 experts head across to Villa Park on Boxing Day in a game of different consequences for each team.
Villa are rooted to the bottom, however West Ham are equally desperate to put behind some credible but nonetheless disappointing results behind them.
Slav is certainly not afraid to ring the changes and it’s been hard to predict the team in recent weeks. He is just as likely to play Obiang instead of Song against Villa. The manager certainly believes in rotation.
Fantastic news to hear from the club that both Payet and Lanzini are recovering rapidly. Then the further good news on Thursday was that James Collins has signed a new contract for two years.
Game after game we have seen Collins’ sheer commitment to the cause and I think we are all happy to see him commit to another deal with the club.
Last week it was a strange game against Swansea. We were quite poor as far as carving out any clear cut chances and until Valencia came on and opened the game up a bit, you had to wonder where the goal was going to come from.
Even Kouyate had a quiet game by his standards. Zarate was again frustrating but still at least tries to make something happen. You wish he just didn’t want to take on that last man, but that’s the way he plays and I guess it’s hard to switch that off in him.
One day he’ll go right through everyone, whilst we are shouting “go on my son”, and then put one away and it will make up for all the road-blocks he often runs into.
Our defence was rock solid again and that man Collins was immense as always.
The Tomkins vs Jenkinson discussion seems to have finally been settled and Tomkins has rightfully retained his place in the side. If he can add some crossing to his game then Tomkins could really take his game to another level and really become a quality right-back.
I thought bringing Jenks into the game late on was a good move by Slav just to give some fresh legs and some run and crossing into the box.
Antonio was probably trying far too hard to impress, and you can’t blame him really with limited opportunities. You can see how desperate he is to make something happen but he just needs to go back to doing the basic things right and then everything else will flow.
Looking forward to Villa, I am sure there is finally going to be some goals being scored and hopefully at the right end. Will he drop Antonio and put Valencia in there with Carroll back in centre-forward? Will Song or Noble keep their place? Will Lanzini be risked or will he start on the bench? Is this our possible line-up?