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The Belgian skipper is being tipped for a return in next week’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow; while Demichelis is still building his way up to full match fitness.
West Ham are likely to be without James Collins and Carlton Cole, the former having injured himself on international duty, and the latter not yet ready for competitive action after his return to Upton Park.
In other news, manager Manuel Pellegrini is said to have put a stop to a series of bizarre bans instigated by former boss Roberto Mancini.
Both the Daily Mail and the Daily Star report that the Chilean has ended the ban on music being played in the dressing room before and after matches; a rule that is not bizarre in itself.
But the reports also claim the Italian banned the colour purple from all team clothing, and that he only arranged team meetings for odd-numbered times of the day.
Needless to say, Pellegrini has lifted the bans, and speaking about his changes since taking over he is quoted as saying, “I just manage the group of players the way I think it is the best. It is not the only way. There are a lot of different ways to do it. That is my way.”
image: © alfonso jimenez