Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that Pablo Zabaleta has recovered from his illness and could be brought back into his side’s defence for the game against Brighton on Wednesday night.
West Ham will look to get back to winning ways at home, following a disappointing 2-0 away loss at Burnley last time out in the league. The club's chances of victory would undoubtedly be boosted by the return of the Argentine.
The experienced full-back has missed West Ham’s last two matches with illness, but it according to his manager, Zabaleta has now shaken off the virus.
Free of his bug, Pellegrini suggested that he could come back into the Hammers’ starting line-up, saying to the club's official website: “Maybe Pablo Zabaleta can return. Sunday was the first day he didn’t have the fever and we’ll see with him. The other injured players won’t be ready.”
West Ham have looked very vulnerable defensively without the experienced leader starting in his usual spot. The much more attacking-minded Michail Antonio has been stationed at right-back in his place and the difference in the backline's stability has been evident to all.
If Zabaleta can return in time for the game, it would allow Antonio to play in his more natural forward role and give the team a better balance from the off.
Wednesday's match-up is an important one for West Ham who were really starting to come into some great form before their disappointing loss to Burnley. A victory over Brighton would help maintain some of their prior momentum and lift the club back into the top half of the table.