West Ham will have their work cut out for them on Sunday as they host Leicester City in a high stakes clash at the London Stadium.
David Moyes has fresh injury concerns ahead of the tie. Michail Antonio hobbled off with a hamstring issue in the win at Molineux on Monday whilst Declan Rice remains absent with a knee injury.
Leicester are far from full strength themselves. James Justin and Harvey Barnes are out for the season. Defender Caglar Soyuncu returned a positive Covid test this week and is certain to miss out in East London.
It’s a huge game for both sides. The Hammers can cut the gap between third and fourth to two points with a win. Ahead of the clash, West Ham Zone predicts Moyes to name the following XI.
In goal should be our number one Lukasz Fabianski. Despite the recent score lines, the Pole has been fantastic between the sticks. He’ll be looking to keep a clean sheet on Sunday for the first time since Leeds at home at the beginning of March.
We expect Moyes to stick with the 5-2-3 formation used at Molineux. This could mean Issa Diop, Craig Dawson and Aaron Cresswell play in a back three. Each of the trio are as important in the opposition box as they are in our own.
Dawson and Diop have scored four league goals between them since the turn of the year. Cresswell has eight Premier League assists this season, the best return for any defender in top-flight.
Speaking of assists, Arthur Masuaku got one on his return to the side at Wolves. He and Vladimir Coufal are predicted to fill in the wing-back positions. It’s great to have Masuaku back, he gives our backline balance and is an excellent dribbler.
As Rice remains sidelined, it is expected that Mark Noble will partner Tomas Soucek in the middle of the park. Soucek has nine league goals this season and is our top goalscorer – hopefully he’ll add to his impressive tally.
Nobes was sensational against Wolves, but it’ll be a different test altogether against Youri Tielemans and James Maddison this weekend. It will be his 400th Premier League appearance for the club, a phenomenal achievement.
Jesse Lingard is without question the first name on the team sheet these days. It’s six goals and three assists in eight starts for him. He’ll look to build on his sensational start to life with the Hammers in his ninth appearance this weekend.
Pablo Fornals made a goalscoring return to the side against Wolves. He could start again up top, along with the match-winner Jarrod Bowen. We expect the Englishman to be rewarded for his goal with a start, and lead the line in Antonio’s absence.
In other West Ham news, why did it all go wrong for Javier Hernandez in east London?