Bilic compares Andy Carroll to West Ham transfer target Mario Mandzukic, suggests he could return on Sunday

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic before the game

West Ham's Andy Carroll could feature against Manchester United on Sunday.

West Ham's Andy Carroll reactsWest Ham's Andy Carroll reacts

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has told The Mirror that Andy Carroll could feature – and suggested he has similarities to Mario Mandzukic.

The Hammers travel to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon searching for just a fourth league win of the season, having made a disappointing start to the campaign.

Bilic's men threw away a 2-1 lead at London rivals Tottenham last weekend, and now have to hope for better fortunes against Jose Mourinho's Red Devils, with West Ham still desperately searching for goals.

With summer signing Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri yet to find the net, plus Diafra Sakho being ruled out through injury for most of the season, no West Ham striker has scored a goal in the Premier League yet this season.

Now though, Bilic could be handed a major boost. Centre forward Andy Carroll has played just one Premier League game this season, and that came in the first fixture of the campaign away at Chelsea back in August.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic before the gameWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic before the game

The 27-year-old hit nine goals under Bilic last season, and whilst he may now be to everybody's taste due to his limited technical ability, Carroll causes nightmares for defenders as they have to try and contend with his exceptional strength and aerial ability.

Ahead of Sunday's game, Bilic has told The Mirror that Carroll could feature having trained this week – and even compared him to West Ham transfer target Mario Mandzukic.

The Sun reported earlier this week that West Ham have been scouting Juventus star Mandzukic this month, and having worked with the striker during his time in charge of Croatia, Bilic feels Mandzukic is somewhat similar to Carroll.

West Ham's Andy Carroll shakes hands with manager Slaven Bilic as he is substitutedWest Ham's Andy Carroll shakes hands with manager Slaven Bilic as he is substituted

“He could be,” said Bilic when asked if Carroll would be in the squad. “We're gonna see, today and tomorrow, because we are not talking about two weeks’ training [which would have enabled us to] say definitely. It has (only) been this week. That's why it's important we are talking about another two days. But he's very close.”

“We are going to see. When he is fit he makes an impact on a game, no matter who you play against. It's very hard to play against him. The things he is giving us is great, you know? I'm not hiding anything, but he trained for three days. Two more days is crucial. You can compare them, and there are similarities because they give everything to a team,” he added when asked about a comparison to Mandzukic.

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