West Ham are back in Premier League action on Monday when they travel to the West Midlands to face Wolves at Molineux.
David Moyes will be hoping his side can push on in the race for Europe. A loss to Manchester United and a draw with Arsenal have hindered the Champions League charge, but there is still a long way to go; a win at Wolves will be the best kickstart.
Our hosts have had a stop-start season. Hindered by injuries to key players, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are 13th in the Premier League and have won once in their last five matches.
We so often struggle against Wolves, not winning away in the league since August 2009. With that in mind, West Ham Zone predicts Moyes to pick the following XI.
In goal should be our number one, Lukasz Fabianski. If he starts, he will be looking to keep a first clean sheet in three games and will be hoping for more help from his defenders. Of the four goals conceded against United and Arsenal, three were own goals. He’s been performing to his best standards lately, and we back him to continue this on Monday.
We predict Moyes to name an unchanged back four from the 3-3 draw with Arsenal. This would mean Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell start down the flanks. Coufal started twice for the Czech Republic in the international break, while Cresswell had some time off and will be raring to go.
Craig Dawson is expected to partner Issa Diop at the back. The two were forming a good understanding before our last two games. Dawson will be looking to put two own goals in his last two games behind him.
Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek are predicted to anchor the midfield again. The duo have started every Premier League game together, and both had excellent spells away with their countries.
Soucek scored a hat-trick in the Czech Republic’s first game and went onto captain the side in their games with Belgium and Wales. Rice was named player of the match for England in both of his games against Albania and Poland.
We expect Moyes to make one change to his attacking trio. Jesse Lingard and Jarrod Bowen, who both scored against Arsenal, could both keep their spots in the team. We assume Moyes will bring Pablo Fornals back into the side to replace Said Benrahma with football.london reporting the Spaniard is available again.
Fornals was sorely missed in the matches with Manchester United and Arsenal. Benrahma offered no cover defensively against Arsenal, with all three of their goals coming down the left flank. Fornals may offer more defensively – we have to deal with the threat of Perdo Neto, Daniel Podence and Adama Traore.
Michail Antonio is expected to start as the striker again. The international period would have given him plenty of time to rest up. Hopefully, he can lead us to victory on Monday evening and put the pressure back on those around us.
In other West Ham news, five years ago today, we witnessed one of the last iconic moments at Upton Park.