Kouyate back for Burnley game


  • Slaven Bilic welcomes Cheikhou Kouyate back into his squad for the visit of Burnley
  • Senegal star missed the last two Premier League fixtures with a hamstring injury
  • Manager yet to decide if striker Andy Carroll will start against the Clarets on Wednesday

Slaven Bilic has been given a major lift ahead of the Burnley game on Wednesday night after revealing that Cheikhou Kouyate will return to the squad after he was forced to miss the last two matches with a hamstring injury.

Kouyate picked up the injury on the eve of the London derby against Arsenal and the injury forced him to miss the 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

But the Senegal international resumed training on Monday and the Hammers manager confirmed he would be available for selection if he doesn't suffer any reaction in the final training session at London Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Bilic said: “He trained normally on Monday with all the guys. He looked alright and looks fit for tomorrow. We have training and if nothing unusual happens he is alright.

“He’s a very important player for us and has showed that since he joined the club. When he doesn’t play it is a big blow. He’s that kind of player.”

Bilic says he will make a late decision on whether to start Andy Carroll or keep him on the bench for the game at London Stadium on Wednesday night.

Carroll has appeared in the last two games as a substitute and is hoping to get back among the goals as the Hammers prepare for two big home games against Burnley and Hull.

Bilic added “We will decide tomorrow. He came on twice from the bench. We need to decide whether to use him from the bench or from the start.

“We have two very important games and we have to manage our players to be available in both.

“I’ve been talking about Carroll for most of the last season, he’s that kind of player. It is a big blow when we are missing him. We are not afraid (to start him) but have to think twice on how to manage him.

“We can’t look only at tomorrow’s game, but we have to look at the bigger picture.”

Italian striker Simone Zaza will be sidelined once again after missing the draw against Liverpool with a knee injury.