Football

West Ham United Vs Bolton Wanderers, Sat 21 Aug 2010

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West Ham will be without injured midfield pair Thomas Hitzlsperger and Valon Behrami for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Bolton.

Manager Avram Grant must consider whether to hand Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne their first West Ham starts after both made an impact off the bench against Aston Villa weekend.

Overweight South African striker Benni McCarthy is getting closer to consideration after losing one kilogram in the last week.

Grant is convinced captain Matthew Upson will stay at Upton Park this season - but his long-term future remains up in the air.

Upson is out of contract next summer and West Ham are conscious that the England defender could leave on a free transfer if they cannot persuade him to sign a new deal.

Co-chairman David Gold wants to keep Upson in claret and blue for the rest of his career, but he admitted that West Ham would probably have to cash in if they received a bid in excess of £6million.

That money would come in very handy to Grant, who is treading a financial tightrope as he attempts to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes on September 1.

But the Hammers boss would rather keep hold of his entire stable of England internationals, having so far successfully fought off Tottenham's summer approach for Scott Parker.

Grant said: "Ninety per cent of the squad will stay and Matthew Upson is in that 90% who will stay here. We like him, he's good for us and a good captain and he will stay.

"Scott Parker will play (against Bolton) and will be at West Ham in the years to come. We came here to make the new season and the next seasons better than before.

"I hope we will be busy (before the transfer window closes) because we want the squad to be stronger.

"To do this we need players because we don't have a few players for some positions. We will try to do it.

"The resources of the club and the financial situation is not so good, so we have to think about that also.

"The challenge at West Ham is exciting and it is the reason I came here. We want to take the club forward."

West Ham have made their first home game of the season a `Kids For A Quid' game and Grant is determined to give Upton Park something positive to shout about.

"Everybody likes to play at home in front of their supporters and they were great in the last game. Even though we didn't play so well the fans sang until the last minute," said Grant.

"We will try our best to help them support us for the whole season."

Bolton will arrive at Upton Park with a fully fit squad.

The squad was given a clean bill of health after Saturday's goalless draw with Fulham.

Zat Knight believes Bolton will reap the reward if they can turn West Ham's supporters against their own team.

The Trotters are hoping to register their third successive Barclays Premier League victory in east London.

West Ham crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa last Saturday and Knight knows their fans will grow restless if they struggle again.

"The crowd will get behind them but their fans demand a lot," Knight told Bolton's official website.

"If we can play our type of football, press them and get them on the back foot, then hopefully we can make the crowd turn.

"Maybe then one or two their players' heads will drop and we can capitalise by getting one or two goals.

"West Ham will obviously want to do better than they did last week as they made a poor start against Villa.

"For us we want to do better than our draw against last weekend and I don't see why we can't come away with the points we want.

"Although we believe it was a good performance against Fulham you always want to better yourself.

"If we do that against West Ham then we believe we'll come out on top."

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Topics:
Football
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
West Ham United

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