By Peter Lynch

21st May, 2023 | 12:36pm

West Ham United confirmed XI vs Leeds United: Pablo Fornals starts in six changes, Said Benrahma drops to bench

West Ham have confirmed their starting XI for the Premier League clash against Leeds United on Sunday (21 May).

David Moyes has named six changes from the side that defeated AZ Alkmaar 1-0 on Thursday (18 May).

The Hammers host the Whites at the London Stadium in what is their final home Premier League game this season.

As expected, Lukasz Fabianski comes in for Alphonse Areola in between the sticks, with the former the go-to goalkeeper in the Premier League and the latter the main man in Europe this season.

Vladimir Coufal replaces Thilo Kehrer at right-back, with Emerson coming in for Aaron Cresswell at left-back. Kurt Zouma retains his place in the starting XI, but Angelo Ogbonna comes in for Nayef Aguerd.

In midfield, the reliable duo of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek once again start, with Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta also keeping their places in the starting XI.

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Match-winner against AZ Pablo Fornals comes in to replace Said Benrahma, with Michail Antonio dropping out for Danny Ings.

Intriguing clash

Intriguing is definitely the word to describe this Premier League clash, with nobody certain about which West Ham will show up following their superb night in the Netherlands.

On one side of the coin, the players will be full of confidence and in very high spirits after securing a place in the Europa Conference League final, with Leeds therefore set to be on the receiving end of a highly energetic and highly spirited Hammers side.

But on the other side of the coin, there is the very real possibility that David Moyes and his players will be exhausted from the trip and the celebrations that followed the win, meaning Leeds have a great chance to take advantage of their weary opponents.

In any case, the Whites have got to attack the Hammers from the very start, with the Yorkshire outfit desperate for points at this tense stage of the season.

Sam Allardyce’s men are in an even greater need of points following the results on Saturday (20 May), having watched Nottingham Forest secure their safety and Everton secure a last-ditch point.