West Ham United will welcome Valon Behrami back for Wednesday night's trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United but Lucas Neill is still missing.

Swiss international midfielder Behrami had been an ever-present until Sunday's defeat by Arsenal when a slight groin problem saw him miss out as a precautionary measure with the trips to United and Middlesbrough on Saturday in mind. Matthew Upson will captain the side again in the absence of Neill, who is still laid low with the virus that kept him out of Sunday's match.

Recent recruit Diego Tristan will not make the trip but is getting closer to full fitness, and could be involved at the weekend. He could deputise for Carlton Cole, who is serving a three-game ban that will keep him out of contention until the 15 November visit of Portsmouth. Mark Noble is also on the sidelines with a calf muscle injury, meaning Lee Bowyer and Hayden Mullins could continue after impressing against Arsenal.

Gianfranco Zola is not worried about the prospect of taking on the defending champions at Old Trafford, even without his leading scorer Cole. "We do respect them but we don't fear them," the manager said. "We are going to go there and play our game. We are going to try to win the game as we always try to do that."

As was the case with Arsenal, when his team more than matched their opponents before some late misfortune, Zola is well aware of what it takes to compete with the elite clubs. "I'll be certainly telling them that it is a tough match but in football everything is possible. We are a good team and I believe that we can do that. We respect them but we will play our game and then we will see."

The match comes on the back of three straight defeats but the manager and the team can consider themselves more than unlucky not to have picked up any points in what have been close-fought encounters. "It never happened to me that I saw a team playing that well and then not getting any points for three matches.

"I know that in football things can change quickly. We just need a game to get it right and then everything will be better. It's a good starting point to play well, results are a consequence of that. That's my philosophy and I will pursue it. The way we are playing suits the team very well and just have to accept that sometimes there are bad moments and things don't go your way."