By James Wood

14th Apr, 2021 | 6:00pm

WHZ View: Predicted West Ham XI to play away at Newcastle

West Ham travel to Tyneside on Saturday to take on 17th-placed Newcastle United the Premier League season draws closer to a finish. 

David Moyes leads his side to St James’ Park with the aim of going third in the table. Leicester City don’t play in the league this weekend as they have an FA Cup semi-final to contest. It’s a huge chance for the Hammers to solidify their Champions League spot.

Newcastle will be no easy feat. The Magpies won at Turf Moor last weekend thanks to an excellent cameo from Allan Saint-Maximin. The Geordies are undefeated in three matches against West Ham and won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the London Stadium.

Moyes has some fresh injury concerns going into this one, as per Premier Injuries. Aaron Cresswell and Mark Noble both hobbled off in the win over Leicester, while Declan Rice and Michail Antonio are still out. With that in mind, West Ham Zone predicts the following line-up for Saturday.

In goal, we expect to see our big Pole Lukasz Fabianski. The 35-year-old will be keen to keep a clean sheet, he’s conceded eight goals in our last three league games. Despite this, he’s been in excellent form all season, ageing like a fine wine.

There could be a mix up at the back. We expect Cresswell to be out, he will be a huge loss at the back and also going forward. Luckily, Angelo Ogbonna should be fit to return to the side. He’s been out since February 9 in our FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

He would be the most likely to slot into the back three, lining up alongside Issa Diop and Craig Dawson. Diop played a fantastic ball to Jarrod Bowen for our second goal against Leicester and looks to have turned a corner after a poor first half to the season.

We expect Arthur Masuaku and Vladimir Coufal to play as wingbacks. Masuaku looked a bit off the pace in our last game and was robbed of possession for the Foxes first goal. He’ll be looking to make amends on Tyneside.

Another change may come in the middle. Mark Noble appeared to suffer an injury to his arm last weekend and left play in the second half. We predict Tomas Soucek to partner Pablo Fornals in the middle, in what would be a new centre-midfield pairing.

Fornals is more than capable of fulfilling this role, and we have no other options given Rice’s injury. The Spaniard will run his socks off and is greatly trusted by Moyes. He could excel in the middle of the park next to Soucek.

This leaves three upfront. Jesse Lingard and Bowen will start – both have been incredible in recent weeks. Bowen is on his best run of form for the club, scoring three in his last three and assisting Lingard for his second last week.

The last spot will likely go to Said Benrahma. He is still yet to score in the Premier League for West Ham, but will fancy his chances on Saturday. Newcastle have the fifth-worst defence in the top-flight – we’re backing him to finally break his duck and send us to third.

In other West Ham news, is this the secret to Moyes’ success with the Hammers this season?