By Daniel Feliciano

19th Sep, 2023 | 7:10pm

Dinos Mavropanos to make first appearance - Predicted West Ham United XI v Backa Topola

David Moyes could be set to make wholesale changes to his West Ham United side for their opening Europa League clash with Backa Topola.

The Hammers suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday against Manchester City in a tough outing, but spirits are still high after a strong start to the campaign.

And the boss could look to use this game as a chance to rest key players and get minutes into the rest of his squad, with places up for grabs ahead of the weekend fixture against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Alphonse Areola has become the number one goalkeeper at the club this season and has started every Premier League game so far. Judging by previous campaigns that should see veteran stopper Lukasz Fabianski get the nod in the cups, including in Europe.

In defence there are options for everyone to get a well-deserved rest. Thilo Kehrer and Aaron Cresswell have found themselves on the sidelines so far this campaign but should come in ahead of Vladimir Coufal and Emerson Palmieri to get some minutes.

Centrally Angelo Ogbonna is a steady backup option while summer signing Dinos Mavropanos has yet to feature since his arrival and should partner the Italian for his first appearance as a Hammer.

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In midfield the team is a little short on options which could see Moyes stick with senior members of the squad. Edson Alvarez is rated as 50/50 to play, which means he likely won’t be risked and James Ward-Prowse can partner Tomas Soucek for West Ham.

In the number ten role Lucas Paqueta has been as influential as ever this season and should be rested with an eye on the weekend, giving Moyes the perfect opportunity for Mohammed Kudus to come in for his full debut.

Pablo Fornals and Maxwel Cornet have become largely forgotten in the attacking areas such is the form of Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma so far, but they are both fit and should come into contention for the game against the Serbian outfit.

Michail Antonio has reclaimed his role as the first-choice striker since the departure of Gianluca Scamacca, but Danny Ings is in need of some match sharpness and confidence and should get the nod up front for this clash.

In other West Ham news, the club have made a decision on the future of two Conference League winners who are out of contract in 2024.