Team news: Fully-fit West Ham squad ready for Asia Trophy semi-final
Manuel Pellegrini has a fully fit 23-man squad to choose from for Wednesday’s Premier League Asia Cup semi-final with Manchester City.
The Hammers will take on Pep Guardiola’s domestic treble winners at the Olympic Sports Centre Stadium in the Chinese city of Nanjing.
Pellegrini’s squad have been in China since Sunday morning and have trained three times at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Sports Park – not to be confused with the 61,000-capacity stadium.
Jack Wilshere is a technical player who will provide a lot of important passes for forwards in and around the opposition box, so I hope for him and for the team that he can play a full season
With jetlag wearing off and the players getting used to the hot and humid conditions, the manager has a selection headache.
"All the players who we brought here are 100 per cent fit and we don’t have any problems with any of them,” Pellegrini confirmed.
Two players who will be hoping to feature in Nanjing, for different reasons, are Jack Wilshere and Ben Johnson.
England midfielder Wilshere worked all summer in a bid to overcome the injury issues which ruined his first season with the Hammers and has looked strong and sharp in preseason, while teenage full-back Ben Johnson is looking to build on a breakthrough campaign that saw Pellegrini hand him a Premier League debut at Manchester City in February.
The Chilean said both players have a big part to play in West Ham’s future.
“I think everyone knows Jack Wilshere as a player,” he observed. “Unfortunately for us, last season he couldn't play too often because he had different injuries, but now he is working with no problem every day.
“With his quality, of course the team will change. He's a technical player who will provide a lot of important passes for forwards in and around the opposition box, so I hope for him and for the team that he can play a full season.
"I think Ben is here because he deserves to be. The way he worked last season and the very special game against Manchester City, when he played on the left side of the defence, he is a player who has a big future. All these days that he is involved with the senior players it is very useful to him."
Wilshere and Johnson are among 23 players who hope to be involved against Manchester City, but tournament rules mean only 21 will be able to take part in Wednesday’s game, as only ten substitutions are allowed.
West Ham United Premier League Asia Trophy squad: Antonio, Cresswell, Cullen, Diangana, Diop, Felipe Anderson, Fredericks, Chicharito, Fabianski, Johnson, Lanzini, Martin, Noble, Obiang, Ogbonna, Reid, Rice, Roberto, Sanchez, Snodgrass, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Zabaleta