WEST Ham’s two representatives for England are vying for starting berths in the team’s first World Cup match against the USA on Saturday, where they could line up against another of their clubmates.
Robert Green and Matthew Upson are both battling for a place in Fabio Capello’s starting XI for the Three Lions’ first game of their World Cup campaign. Should they get the nod, they are likely to come up against team-mate Jonathan Spector, who is one of America’s resident full-backs.
The chances of Upson featuring have been boosted in recent days, albeit in unfortunate circumstances. Captain Rio Ferdinand was forced to withdraw from the tournament in South Africa after suffering a freak knee injury in training.
That has opened the door for Upson, who is likely to slug it out with Tottenham’s Ledley King for the remaining centre-back slot alongside John Terry.
Green, on the other hand, has been made the bookmakers’ favourite to take the gloves for the first game in Rustenburg this weekend, following an assured performance between the posts in the team’s final warm-up game against the Platinum Stars on Monday.
The Hammers stopper is priced at 11/10 to take the number one jersey, while David James can be found at 6/5 with William Hill.
Back on home soil, meanwhile, Avram Grant has been granted a work permit, confirming his appointment as West Ham’s new manager. The club made their first signing of the summer at the weekend, snapping up midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger on a free transfer.