Franco and Jimmy in line

Gianfranco Zola could have two more senior players to call on for Monday night's Barclays Premier League meeting with Manchester City.

New signing Guillermo Franco and the fit-again Luis Jimenez both trained fully with the squad on Friday and could bolster the forward options available to Zola as he seeks his second consecutive win over the Mark Hughes' side. Captain Matthew Upson could also be back in training on Saturday, while Valon Behrami has two days to prove his fitness.

"It would be fantastic if Franco could start," Zola said. "I think he is going to be very important for us. He has all of the experience, he's got presence on the pitch and I'm really impressed with him. I think he is going to be a very good signing for us.

"I don't know yet with Behrami. Upson may train with us on Saturday so it is good news. Jimenez is coming back so nearly all of the players are back which is good news for us."

With two narrow home defeats and a win, draw and loss away from home so far, Zola is focused on picking up points. Although he would have preferred a better return thus far, the West Ham United manager is relaxed about how his side will fare over the coming weeks.

"I am the first to say that points-wise, we are not doing great but as a manager here we don't work on three points - I see the bigger picture. Our team is playing as a big team now and it is a matter of time before we start picking up points and consistency as well."

Zola knows that Hughes' Manchester City will provide stiff opposition to that aim in Monday's televised game. Having won their first four games, City lost their 100 per cent record last time out to a 96th-minute Michael Owen winner in the Manchester derby.

"I have a lot of admiration for them. They have a lot of talent and they are working very hard to be a team too. The results have been very good so I have a lot of respect for them."

To add a bit of extra spice to the occasion, there could be a couple of familiar faces lining up in sky blue. Striker Craig Bellamy left the Hammers for the City of Manchester Stadium in January, and the Wales international could be joined in attack by former Hammer of the Year Carlos Tevez.

Speaking of Bellamy, Zola said: "I think it will be massive as he has done very well. When he left, for the supporters he left on strange terms so he will be very up for it. We are going to find a way to look after him. It is not going to be easy as he is a very good player but we will try."

Monday's opponents' new-found strength could leave some managers slightly green with envy, but Zola is not one of them, explaining that he feels privileged to be in charge of the Hammers.

"I don't envy anyone. I am very happy to be manager of this club. This group is a group that is going to give a lot of satisfaction to our fans.

"I am excited to work with them and take them to a better position and I am enjoying it and don't want to be in another position."