Danny Ings and Nayef Aguerd to be axed, Gianluca Scamacca to get start - West Ham United predicted XI v AEK Larneca
David Moyes is likely to make changes to his West Ham lineup for the Europa Conference League second leg clash with AEK Larneca on Thursday (16 March).
The Hammers will take a 2-0 lead into the second leg after a Michail Antonio brace in Cyprus, but Moyes will be keen to keep momentum high after they followed that up with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in the Premier League.
But with suspensions, injuries and form all to be taken into account, the boss is likely to make some changes to his team as he freshens things up in a game where we’re heavy favourites to progress.
Lukasz Fabianski continues to be unavailable with his facial injuries so Alphonse Areola should start in goal as he continues to stake a claim to be the new number one at the club.
Defensively Moyes has got options to work with and is likely to give some players a needed break, with others looking to get more minutes under their belt.
Vladimir Coufal is likely to miss out with plantar fascitis but Ben Johnson should step into his place, replacing summer signing Thilo Kehrer who started at the weekend.
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In the middle Kurt Zouma is back from injury and should start alongside veteran Angelo Ogbonna, allowing £35m ace Nayef Aguerd to drop out of the side while Emerson Palmieri should continue at left-back ahead of Aaron Cresswell.
Flynn Downes is suspended for the second leg for West Ham after picking up his third yellow card in the first game, so Declan Rice should continue in central midfield next to Tomas Soucek.
Jarrod Bowen will want to get back on the right track and find more form so Moyes is likely to give him the nod on the right wing, while Pablo Fornals should step into the number ten role ahead of Lucas Paqueta who is nursing an injury.
Said Benrahma has been the in-form player in the attack this season and should continue on the left, but Moyes has a decision to make about his number nine.
Michail Antonio missed the weekend clash with a calf problem which he picked up in the first leg and is unlikely to be risked. That leaves Danny Ings and Gianluca Scamacca, and it seems like the perfect time for the Italian to get the nod and a chance to prove his manager wrong.
Moyes has challenged him to put up better physical data numbers, and this would be the perfect chance to let him do that, which would see £15m January signing Ings moved to the bench to accommodate him.