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Arnie set for first team recall

Filed: Thursday, 14th March 2019
By: Staff Writer

Marko Arnautovic looks set to feature against Huddersfield this weekend, despite having not been included in Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI since the end of January.

The Austrian international has been out of favour since trying to push through a transfer window move to China.

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However Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini gave the clearest indication yet that Arnautovic is set to return to the first XI when speaking to the media at Rush Green this morning. "Marko was out of the team for several reasons," said Pellegrini.

"Firstly his mind was out having been given the option to go to China. After that he returned, but he didn't work for about a week so he needed some time to recover his performance.

"Then he was going to start against Manchester City but he felt bad that day and was sick. So there's a lot of reasons why he's been starting on the bench - but I think he's ready to return to his position."

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Arnautovic's last four appearances - against Crystal Palace, Fulham, Newcastle and Cardiff have all come from the bench. His last goal for West Ham came in the 2-0 FA Cup 3rd round win over Championship side Birminham.

Since the beginning of November his only other goals came in a 2-2 draw with Brighton on 2 January - a game in which he scored both of West Hams goals. In all he has scored nine times this season, from a total of 28 appearances.

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