8:00am Thursday 18th September 2008
By Rob Pritchard >
GIANFRANCO Zola is set to name an attacking West Ham United line-up for his
first game in charge at Upton Park. The former Italy forward, who replaced
Alan Curbishley last Thursday and announced plans to play "enjoyable"
football, is planning to put his money where his mouth is in Saturday's
Premier League clash with Newcastle United. Zola's selection and tactics
will be in marked contrast to those employed by Curbishley, whose
conservative approach angered many Irons' fans before his resignation was
accepted on September 3.
Central defender Calum Davenport will be dropped to make way for France
international Julien Faubert. The former Bordeaux star will play at
right-back, with captain Lucas Neill switching to the central defensive role
he fills in the Australia national team. Ahead of them, Switzerland
midfielder Valon Behrami will keep his place on the right wing, while Wales
striker Craig Bellamy is battling to recover from a slight hamstring injury
to take his place alongside England's Dean Ashton.
A Hammers source told the Echo: "Franco really wants to attack Newcastle,
who are on the back-foot after losing at home to Hull City last week.
"They've also got lots of important players out injured or suspended and
have all the off-pitch issues to worry about."
The Magpies are without a full-time manager following Kevin Keegan's
resignation a fortnight ago, while Toon owner Mike Ashley, who decided to
sell the club following a supporter backlash, has spent the week in the
Middle East trying to sell the club to Arab investors.
West Ham, meanwhile, will be keen to get back on track after losing 3-2 at
newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion last weekend.