Striking options for Saturday

Avram Grant has plenty of attacking options at his disposal this weekend.

The manager has Frederic Piquionne, Victor Obinna, Carlton Cole and Benni McCarthy all pushing for places - with Zavon Hines coming along in light training for a possible return at the turn of the year. The fit forwards were all in lively form on Thursday, banging in the goals during a special end-of-training shooting session that also featured Mark Noble and Pablo Barrera.

There is equally strong demand for places at the back as every defender in the squad was involved on the Chadwell Heath pitches, with Matthew Upson pushing for a recall and the likes of Herita Ilunga and James Tomkins eager to also challenge the back four. In midfield, Julien Faubert's suspension for his reserve-team red card will not kick in for 14 days.

As such, the manager has the pleasant headache of plenty of options for the visit of Newcastle United. Despite the competitive air you would expect among the players, there is a fantastic mood in the squad. Obinna summed it up with the way he has quickly adapted to life in London.

"I'm settled now and I'm enjoying myself," he said. "This is the kind of football I really wanted to play and I'm really happy to be here and to play in the English Premier League."

Having scored against Sunderland in the Carling Cup, he is itching to reigster his first in the league. "I'm looking to start scoring goals because I believe that is what West Ham wants.

"The football is really fast and that's the kind of football I'm hoping to play. I've been trying to adapt and it hasn't been that difficult for me. I've played a couple of games and I'm enjoying myself."