Squad To Face Brighton

WEST Ham United's squad is boosted by the return of Mark Noble, Sergei Rebrov and Malky Mackay to the travelling party for the trip to Brighton this weekend.

Noble missed the trip to Stoke with a jarred knee, but is fit again, although not assured of a starting place.

Alan Pardew said: "Losing Mark before the Stoke game was a massive blow to us. Thankfully, we won up there without him, but it's good to have him back in the squad. He's played a lot of games this season for someone who isn't even 18 yet.

"He may not start at Brighton, but if not he'll certainly be available to use from the bench."

Rebrov and Mackay have both trained this week after recovering from respective calf injuries, but Pards warned that they are still off full-fitness and may not be available for the game.

"Malky and Serge have both trained and with their experience it's good to have them back in the squad. But having been out for a while it's unlikely that either will be involved on Saturday."

One player desperately keen not to miss out at the Withdean is former Brighton scoring sensation Bobby Zamora, and Pards admits the 24-year-old could be in-line to make his first start in eight games against his old club.

"Bobby is pushing the front two really hard at the moment," he said. "After a tricky spell this season he is finding form at just the right time for us and with his goal at Stoke is doing himself no harm at all."

Still on the injured list are Don Hutchison (knee), Steve Lomas (calf) and Christian Dailly (calf).

For Christian it's been a frustrating few weeks, punctuated by set-backs just when the Scottish international thought he was nearing full-fitness. But Pards does not rule out a return for the experienced defender should the Hammers secure a Play-off berth.

"It's going to be very difficult for Christian to come back before the end of the season now," said Alan, "but he's really determined and you never can tell.

"I wouldn't rule out the possibility of him coming back if we make the Play-offs. Last season Rufus Brevett came very close to playing in the Play-off Final after missing almost all of the season, and Christian could still make it.

"That said the two young lads at centre-half have come in and done tremendously well. The side struggled during the middle of the season because we had a big problem at centre-back. But Anton and Elliott coming in has made a huge difference to our season."

The team to face Brighton will be chosen from th following squad:

Bywater (GK), Walker (GK), Etherington, Mullins, Powell, Mackay, Repka, Reo-Coker, Chadwick, Fletcher, Ferdinand, Harewood, Zamora, Sheringham, Rebrov, Newton, Noble, Ward, Brevett.

Brighton and Hove Albion v West Ham United at the Withdean Stadium, kick-off 3.00pm.