Friday 02 Feb
Updated Friday 02 Feb 16:30
First Team

Team news: Antonio, Fonte, Reid and Hugill all in squad

Michail Antonio is in the squad for Saturday's trip to Brighton

 

Michail Antonio, Winston Reid, Jose Fonte and new signing Jordan Hugill could all feature for West Ham United in Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The quartet will bolster a Hammers squad missing a number of senior players through injuries and suspension, with forward trio Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll and wing-back Arthur Masuaku among those unavailable for the trip to the Amex.

Attacker Antonio returns after missing the midweek draw with Crystal Palace due to a disciplinary issue, while defenders Reid and Fonte are ready to return after recovering from groin and ankle problems respectively.

You need a good squad in the Premier League because you need all your players throughout the course of the season

David Moyes

“We hope Michail Antonio will have a chance of being available. Winston Reid coming on a bit, and they would probably be the main ones [coming back],” said the manager.

“With Jose Fonte, we had to bring him back last week because of the numbers and he could probably do with a couple of reserve team games as he’s been out for a while, but he’s training so we need all the numbers we have got.”

Centre forward Hugill will likely have to make do with a place on the substitutes’ bench, but Moyes is confident the deadline day capture from Preston North End will be ready if and when he is called upon.

The 25-year-old scored for Preston in a 2-2 Championship draw at Brighton last season and his new manager is hopeful Hugill can replicate that form on his Hammers debut.

“Because we’ve lost a couple of attacking players and a couple more are injured at this time, we will need to find a way to blend together Chicharito, Jordan Hugill and Joao Mario, who is slightly different and not an out and out attacking player.

“I’m looking forward to getting Marko Arnautovic back because then we will have not only a potent strike force, but we’ll also have creators and people on the bench who we can use as well.

“You need a good squad in the Premier League because you need all your players throughout the course of the season.”

 

David Moyes
David Moyes' side have lost just once in their last ten Premier League matches

 

The manager and his staff have also done plenty of homework on their opponents, who go into Saturday’s game on a six-match Premier League winless run and with just one victory to their credit in their last 14 top-flight matches.

Regardless of that recent record, Moyes had words of praise for opposite number Chris Hughton, who guided the Seagulls to promotion from the Championship last season.

“I think Chris has done a brilliant job overall, with the way he has brought Brighton through and the way he has built the club over the last couple of years, as well. I think he’s done a really good job.

“With teams that come up, they come up with a real spirit, but the Premier League is a long season and it’s hard, but Chris really experienced and knows what he is doing, so I think Brighton have done great.”

While Brighton might have ‘done great’ so far this season, Moyes will have no sentimental feelings towards the Sussex side on Saturday, as a victory could take his Hammers back into the top ten and, perhaps more importantly, put six points between the two clubs.

“At this time of the season, every win becomes more important, especially when you are playing one of the teams around you.

“We’ve got to go there and try to get the three points but, at the same time, we’ve got to make sure we don’t lose as well. It’s really important to keep picking up points.

“I’d like to look up and challenge one or two teams who aren’t too far above us but, while there is a trapdoor not too far away, you’re always looking at it.”