The Premier League is finally back.
After a lengthy absence through the international break, West Ham finally return to action, however, Hammers’ fans must wait until Monday night before seeing their team in action.
West Ham saw the international break come at an inconvenient time for the club, where seven points in their last three games saw a bit of momentum building. Those points saw the Hammers rise up to 7th in the table, albeit there due to goal difference.
Manuel Pellegrini will hope to see his side continue that good run of form on Monday night and will face an interesting Aston Villa side.
Villa were tipped for the drop and have only found three points in their first four games, however, they were robbed of what could be a crucial point last time out against Crystal Palace and have played some decent football.
Villa Park away under the lights will be no easy task, and Pellegrini will hope for a rejuvenated side following the international break.
Here is the starting XI I believe Pellegrini will select against Aston Villa:
GK - Lukasz Fabianski
Fabianski was in action for Poland and came up against Marko Arnautovic, keeping a clean sheet in the process.
RB - Ryan Fredericks
Fredericks resumes his place in the starting XI, with Zabaleta in action for Vincent Kompany’s testimonial.
CB - Angelo Ogbonna
Ogbonna (somehow) managed to keep Pukki quiet last outing, and I don’t think Pellegrini will be swapping that back-line soon.
CB - Issa Diop
Like Ogbonna, Diop keeps his spot in the team from the clean sheet against Norwich.
LB - Arthur Masuaku
Fans will be hoping that King Arthur keeps his place in the side, and he could be looking like the left-back this side needs.
CDM - Declan Rice
Given unfair criticism in his performances for England, Rice returns to the team after a good international break for the youngster.
CM - Mark Noble
The skipper keeps his place in the team, the balance that West Ham need.
CM - Manuel Lanzini
Lanzini reverts back to a more central role following injuries to Antonio.
RW - Andriy Yarmolenko
Yarmolenko will hopefully kick on from his goal against Norwich.
LW - Felipe Anderson
This guy was different gravy against Norwich. Let’s hope this is the start of his form (and that he doesn’t go missing in the New Year).
ST - Sebastien Haller
Haller starts up top, could he reach 20 goals this season? Maybe. Let’s not tempt fate. Here’s hoping he continues his goalscoring form.