West Ham United host Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium on Sunday looking to claim a first win at home to their rivals since 2017.
And in a boost for David Moyes, could have Michail Antonio leading the line again.
The Hammers boss is hopeful that the striker will be passed fit to feature in the London derby after sitting out his side’s last two fixtures across all competitions with fatigue, having appeared exhausted against Fulham in his 16th and most recent appearance of the season so far.
The Irons will still be without Angelo Ogbonna against Spurs as he continues to recover from the high ankle sprain sustained against Manchester United in the FA Cup, which ruled the Italian out of Monday night’s 3-0 Premier League win over Sheffield United.
But, with Antonio possibly back to lead the attack, here’s a potential line-up Moyes could name against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Sunday…
Lukasz Fabianski recorded his ninth clean sheet of the season across all competitions when he kept the Blades at bay earlier this week, marking his fourth back-to-back top-flight shut out this term.
The Poland international is yet to register three on-the-bounce and will hope to do so against a Spurs side that has only scored twice in their last four league games with an unchanged back five from Monday night.
Ben Johnson returned to left-back against Chris Wilder’s relegation-threatened Sheffield United, as Aaron Cresswell joined Issa Diop and Craig Dawson at centre-half in Ogbonna’s absence. Vladimir Coufal featured at right-back for his 20th Premier League outing since joining the Hammers from SK Slavia Prague last summer for what now appears a modest £5.5m.
Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice, the only other West Ham players than Cresswell to have featured for all 2,160 minutes of Premier League football on offer this term, will expect to again anchor the engine room on Sunday.
The pair operated behind a front-three of Jesse Lingard, Manuel Lanzini and makeshift striker Jarrod Bowen against the Blades, yet would see the line rotated with Antonio making his return to the sole centre-forward position.
Lingard will expect to continue his run of starting all top-flight matches in claret and blue since joining West Ham on loan from Manchester United, after taking a game-high five shots and making a team-high three successful dribbles from a game-high six runs on Monday, per WhoScored.
No West Ham player has now taken a higher average number of shots per game in the league than Lingard (3.7), who further ranks first for dribbles attempted (4.3) and is second for successful efforts (1.7).
Bowen and £70k-per-week playmaker Lanzini may both find their positions at risk on Sunday to free a space for Antonio to return, while also being at risk for Ryan Fredericks to earn only his seventh start of the season across all competitions.
Moyes enjoyed great success from the full-back operating a wide right position against Aston Villa, and may look to replicate that at home to Tottenham.
Fredericks offered two successful tackles – a personal best for the season – at Villa Park, along with two key passes and three accurate crosses. Bowen, the only West Ham player to have made more than one appearance at right-midfield in a Premier League game this term, has averaged 0.8 successful tackles, 0.9 key balls and 1.2 accurate crosses a game thus far.
So, Bowen could find that he not only makes way for Antonio but also Fredericks, as Moyes looks to orchestrate West Ham’s first home victory over Spurs since 2017.