Arthur Masuaku is ready to step into the West Ham United starting XI for Saturday's Premier League derby with Arsenal.
The Hammers go into the weekend having lost just two of their last seven league matches, scoring a creditable 1-1 draw at Manchester United last weekend.
French left-back Masuaku returned from two months out with a knee injury for Wednesday's EFL Cup defeat by the same opponents at Old Trafford, and is now set to deputise for the absent Aaron Cresswell against the Gunners.
“We lost Michail Antonio and Cressy through injury [on Wednesday] and that makes things more difficult. Both players are very important for the team so we hope they can come back as soon as possible."
For the 23-year-old, the delight at returning to action for the first time since being hurt in the EFL Cup win over Accrington Stanley in September was tinged by the concession of three second-half goals at Old Trafford.
“It was nice to be back on the pitch, but it is always hard to play against a team like Manchester United," he revealed. “I always try to do my best, but it didn't happen like I wanted. We have to keep working hard as a team.
“I had a similar problem to what Cressy had with my knee ligaments which I suffered during the Cup game against Accrington and was out for two months.
“Normally this injury is around ten weeks but I managed to get back in eight weeks and it was good to get some match action under my belt.”
With Diafra Sakho ruled out for six weeks with a thigh injury, Ashley Fletcher could get the chance to lead the Hammers attack once again after scoring his first goal in Claret and Blue in midweek.
Masuaku, for one, had nothing but praise for the way the 21-year-old took his chance against his former club.
This weekend, the two summer signings could both be handed further opportunities to impress when Arsene Wenger's title-chasers visit London Stadium for a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday evening.
“I was very happy for Ashley that he scored against his old team because he didn't get to play for the first team there, so it must have been a good feeling for him to score at Old Trafford.”