By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

7th Jun, 2023 | 8:10am

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Frank McAvennie has named six West Ham players he expects to see in the starting lineup to face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final tonight.

The Hammers are in Prague looking to win their first trophy in over 40 years, and David Moyes has got a fully fit squad to choose from for his side in the biggest game of his managerial career to date.

And while there are question marks about the side that he will name, McAvennie expects at least six players to be sure of their place in the team for the game.

“You’ve got to play your best players,” he told West Ham Zone. “I think Paqueta is coming into his own now.

“I hope he plays the right team. He’s got to play Bowen, he’s got to play Benrahma. He’s got to play Antonio up front I think.

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“They’re talking about Antonio leaving.. what a way to leave. Declan Rice, lift the cup and then move. It’s a great way to leave. Soucek’s not been kicking a ball but he’ll play him because he likes him.

“He’ll play Soucek, Declan and Paqueta in the middle, that’s his team.

Reports in Italy have suggested that Thilo Kehrer is set to start in central defence alongside Nayef Aguerd, with Kurt Zouma missing out, while Aaron Cresswell and hometown hero Vladimir Coufal are expected to start at full-back.

In goal Lukasz Fabianski has been the number one all season, but Alphonse Areola is expected to keep his place between the sticks having started every game in the competition so far.