Gianluca Scamacca starts, David Moyes to make four changes - West Ham United predicted XI v AEK Larnaca
West Ham will hope for a change in fortunes when they resume their Europa Conference League campaign against AEK Larnaca, in which Moyes could make four changes.
The Hammers head into the first leg of the last-16 tie sitting in 16th position in the Premier League table following Saturday’s 4-0 mauling to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.
David Moyes faces increasing pressure as West Ham boss after the Brighton result, but the Hammers board have again re-iterated their support [The Athletic, 5 March] for the Scottish manager.
The Hammers will be aiming for a European confidence boost on Thursday evening [9 March] and we predict summer signing Gianluca Scamacca will replace Danny Ings up front, with the Italian expected to get some much-needed minutes in his belt after his return from injury last week.
Flynn Downes could get some much-needed game time in place of out-of-form Tomas Soucek, who could be axed by Moyes, in the Hammers midfield and should partner Declan Rice.
We also predict Pablo Fornals to be given another opportunity to impress with Lucas Paqueta rested for their crucial Premier League exploits at the weekend, while Aaron Cresswell may be chosen to return to the line-up in place of Emerson who started at left-back against Brighton.
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The Hammers will be without Maxwel Cornet and Vladimir Coufal for the tie in Cyprus as confirmed by David Moyes with the defender suffering from plantar fascia and is unavailable for the game, while Cornet is set to travel with the squad but Moyes is not expecting him to play until after the international break.
Kurt Zouma will reportedly be assessed after coming through 21 minutes as a substitute at the weekend after a six-week layoff, while Flynn Downes could add fresh legs to the midfield.