West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has said that new striker Nene could be in line for a debut this weekend, confirming the forward snapped up as a free agent is going to be part of his squad.
Allardyce was speaking ahead of the Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at the Boleyn Ground with the Hammers boss aiming to get the side back to winning ways after three consecutive draws against sides competing for a place in the Premier League's top four.
He told reporters at his pre-match press conference: "Nene will be in the squad this weekend, most likely on the bench. He can play a big part for us, especially with [Andy] Carroll and [Carlton] Cole out.
"Carlton Cole is the only injury we picked up. We've had a good week in training and we're ready for the early kick off on Saturday.
"Nene now has to stake a claim, like every player that plays."
The big news dominating the agenda at the club is the new contract that has been signed by midfielder Mark Noble, and Big Sam seemed delighted to tie down another player who has come through the ranks at the club.
He added: "What's more is he's come through the Academy, like James Tomkins, and we want to produce more players. That's what we're striving for.
"He loves the area, he loves the fans and he's West Ham through and through, so it's great news."
This weekend marks a return to an old club for Alan Pardew with his Crystal Palace side. He left Newcastle United midway through the season to take on the job at the club he used to play for, and Allardyce has identified the threats in the wide areas is something his side is going to have to contend with.
"I think they'll probably play counter attacking football, that's how they've tended to set up away from home.
"They've got good wide counter-attacking players in Zaha, Puncheon and Bolasie and a big lad up front in Sanogo from Arsenal."
It seems that Allardyce expects the onus to be on his side to take the game to Palace but to remain tight at the back in order to deal with the pace and penetration Pardew's side have to offer. A win this weekend could move West Ham back into contention for the European places. They currently trail seventh-placed Tottenham by five points.