Football: New strike duo to fire Hammers

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The Independent Online
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.