Football: New strike duo to fire Hammers

HARRY REDKNAPP, the West Ham manager, is likely to unleash an exciting attacking partnership on the Dutch team Heerenveen as the Hammer's Intertoto Cup campaign brings a Uefa Cup place ever nearer.

Paulo Wanchope, the Costa Rican signed from Derby County, has been granted a new work permit while Italy's Paolo Di Canio has recovered from a shin injury picked up against FC Jokerit on Saturday.

With Paul Kitson suffering from flu and Ian Wright struggling with a knee injury, the pair are likely to forge a new spearhead for West Ham's Intertoto Cup fourth round first leg match at Upton Park tonight.

Redknapp said: "Wanchope will start. We've got his permit through OK and he's ready to go. Di Canio will be fit. He's all right. We are still a couple of players down but preparations haven't gone too badly."

The Cameroon international midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe is still missing after a bout of malaria. He has returned to light training this week but is not ready to play. The defender Ian Pearce, however, could find himself as a substitute for the tie after playing in a drawn reserve friendly against Grays on Monday night.

If West Ham beat Heerenveen they are one game away from the main draw, and Redknapp said: "It's been different playing competitive matches so early in the season. It's not been easy but we're in there now and we're in it to win it. We want a good result tomorrow but it won't be an easy ride."

Meanwhile, the West Ham full-back Stan Lazaridis could complete a pounds 1.5m move to Birmingham before tonight's game. The First Division club have made an approach for the Australian and the clubs have agreed a fee but the player's personal terms have still to be settled.

WEST HAM UNITED SQUAD: Hislop, Forrest, Pearce, Potts, Ruddock, Ferdinand, Sinclair, Jones, Keller, Lomas, Minto, Lampard, Di Canio, Moncur, Wanchope, Carrick, Alexander, Abou, Iriekpen, Holligan.

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