West Ham predicted line-up v Arsenal after Europa League disappointment
West Ham manager David Moyes is predicted to make wholesale changes to his starting line-up for their Premier League meeting with Arsenal on Sunday.
The Irons could close the gap to a Champions League spot to five points but the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt will surely be a bigger priority to Moyes.
The Scot told the press (29 April) defensive pair Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop are both progressing well in their respective recoveries from injury, but only the latter has any chance of returning before the end of the season.
Therefore it is likely to be a makeshift backline once more, with Craig Dawson suspended after his red card at Chelsea and Kurt Zouma only returning from an ankle problem in midweek.
Ali Ajese could be in line for a Premier League debut in the centre of a back three as Moyes looks to protect his key players.
Lukasz Fabianski should return in goal after a Team of the Week display against Chelsea, with Alphonse Areola remaining as designated European keeper.
Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson played either side of Dawson as the Hammers nearly snatched a draw at Stamford Bridge and are expected to retain those roles in a newly tested 3-4-2-1 formation despite playing fullback in midweek.
In midfield, the extra body made available by one less defender will allow Vladimir Coufal and Arthur Masuaku to play as wing-backs, whilst Mark Noble will return to captain the side alongside Tomas Soucek so Declan Rice can rest ahead of the Europa League second-leg against Frankfurt.
Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini could all be wrapped in cotton wool with the trip to Germany in mind so Said Benrahma will get a chance to impress from the start after a promising cameo on Thursday night.
He will try to support Pablo Fornals and Andriy Yarmolenko who has been played out of position at striker to cover for the Hammer’s only other option Antonio on many occasions.
In other West Ham news, Ray Parlour couldn’t believe what he was hearing atbout this floated idea for the Irons.
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