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Pellegrini: Impossible for Zabaleta to play seven games in December

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta will need a rest ahead of a busy festive schedule.

With summer signing Ryan Fredericks suffering an injury that rules him out of the rest of 2018, the 33-year-old has been a regular starter for The Hammers and Pellegrini has admitted the Argentinian will need to be rotated.

With Fredericks injured, West Ham are short on depth at right-back, with Sam Byram currently out on-loan at Championship side Nottingham Forest.

“For his age it is impossible for Pablo to play seven games in December,” Pellegrini told his Friday press conference.

“First we have to win at Newcastle with Pablo, and then we need to work out what we are going to do, maybe using different players.”

West Ham travel to in-form Newcastle this weekend looking to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to league leaders Manchester City.

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