West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has some good defensive options with the new season just over three weeks away.
The defence was an area that was widely criticised at times last season and rightly so, because West Ham lost points in matches they should have won, with the results against Tottenham and Manchester United two good examples.
Bilic will already have some good ideas over the sort of side he wants to assemble for the match against Arsenal and we’ve attempted to predict what his first choice back four could look like.
Prediction: Jenkinson, Ogbonna, Reid, Cresswell
The full-back options in Carl Jenkinson and Aaron Cresswell are definitely one of the strongest sections of the team.
Jenkinson has just re-signed for the club, while Cresswell had a superb first season as a Hammer, eventually winning the club’s Player of the Season award.
They’re both solid defensively in terms of containing players in wide areas and well suited to getting forward and creating extra width down either side.
The central defensive options are a bit more difficult to predict.
Angelo Ogbonna is a superb signing for West Ham but someone facing a real challenge to get up to speed and to cope with the different style involved with the Premier League.
Winston Reid is a reliable option for Bilic after signing a new contract last season and it would be a surprise if he doesn’t slot into the heart of the team.
It’s then a case of the boss mulling over his back up options in Reece Burke, James Collins and James Tomkins, with the latter arguably the most likely to feature on a regular basis.
The key thing for Bilic
The key thing for Bilic is not to tinker and make too many changes unless he’s forced to do so.
Consistency is very important for a back four, which will have a very big say in West Ham’s season.