Moyes keen to start Noble against Zagreb to deal with hostile atmosphere
David Moyes is considering starting Mark Noble when West Ham take on Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday, according to The Sun.
The Hammers will be kicking off their Europa League campaign in Croatia, and their manager reckons the vast experience of the 34-year-old midfielder would come in handy against the 35,000-strong hostile home support.
West Ham face Manchester United on Sunday, and Moyes is also keen not to overuse Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek this term, giving captain Noble an opportunity to potentially come in and replace one of the midfielders.
The Irons have a quality squad without any doubt, but there is not a lot of experience amongst their players, and facing Zagreb away from home will provide them with a stern test.
Noble has played just two minutes across all competitions so far in 2021-22, coming off the bench in the 4-1 Premier League victory over Leicester City, and he will be fresh for his side’s crucial European opener.
West Ham have never played in the group stages of the Europa League before, but their skipper has seen it all during his long career, and the importance of having such a calming presence in the starting XI for such a game can never be overemphasised.
Zagreb got to the quarter-finals of the Europa League last season, knocking out Tottenham Hotspur with a 3-0 victory win en route, and the Hammers need to be on top of their game to have a chance of leaving with a result.
Noble’s experience could prove very crucial, and it will be interesting to see what role Moyes will be giving him for the game.
In other West Ham news, Joe Cole insists Hammers can win the Europa League thanks to six key players.