West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has confirmed striker Andy Carroll is in the frame to return to the first team as the Hammers travel to Southampton on Saturday (February 6).
The £15million striker has recovered from a hamstring injury he picked up in the 3-1 win away at newly promoted AFC Bournemouth at the beginning of January and now looks ready to play a part at the weekend. Meanwhile, Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini are out of contention.
Bilic said: “Carroll is back and has been training with us since Monday. He has been doing some individual training off his own back for the past 10 days so he should be involved.
“Sakho and Lanzini are still out and they should be back in a couple of weeks’ time. “Angelo Ogbonna missed the game against Aston Villa because of illness but he is feeling better and should be fine for Saturday.”
The Hammers have failed to pick up maximum points from St Mary’s since the Saints moved from the The Dell in 2001.
Despite the east Londoners strong run of form – losing just once in their last 11 games – Ronald Koeman’s men present a challenge, says the manager.
Bilic said: “They have not been as consistent as last season but they’re still a good team. They lost two games at the end of the year and we were one of the teams to beat them but then they won three games consecutively and they got a good point at Arsenal.
“They’re a side playing good football and they are good on the counter attack. It’s a side that is quick and is full of good individual players. They are unpredictable but they found some consistency recently in the last four games and I am expecting it to be a tough game for us.”