Areola, Zouma and Vlasic to start in West Ham predicted XI v Dinamo Zagreb
David Moyes could make a number of changes to the West Ham starting line-up ahead of their Europa League opener away at Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night.
After drawing 0-0 with Southampton at the weekend, Moyes is predicted to make seven changes to his side and hand debuts to summer signings Alphonse Areola and Kurt Zouma.
Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini and Nikola Vlasic could also start for the Irons with Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna, Tomas Soucek, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals being rotated out of the starting line-up.
Areola, 28, could start for the first time since joining on a loan-to-buy basis from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer with a back-four of Fredericks, Diop, Zouma and Aaron Cresswell ahead of him.
Declan Rice and captain Noble may start in the midfield with Alex Kral potentially being left on the bench so that Moyes isn’t dishing out too many full debuts in what could be a tough match in Croatia.
Jarrod Bowen is likely to retain his spot on the right-hand side of the attack with Manuel Lanzini in a central role and Vlasic, who may earn his full West Ham debut in his home nation, is predicted to start on the left.
As Michail Antonio was sent off against Southampton and won’t be available to play against Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, we’re expecting him to start up front.
West Ham’s clash with Dinamo Zagreb will be their first against Croatian opposition since the first round of the 1999/00 UEFA Cup.
The Irons beat Osijek 6-1 over two legs with Paulo Wanchope, Paolo Di Canio and Frank Lampard netting goals at the Boleyn Ground and Paul Kitson, Neil Ruddock and the late Marc-Vivien Foe scoring away in Osijek.
In other West Ham news, an ex-PL ref believes this Irons ace should be banned until October after a recent incident.