West Ham United will be looking to bolster their claims for a place in Europe next season when they head to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League this evening.
David Moyes’s side have lost three of their last four games and have dropped to sixth place, but they know that three wins in their final three games will be enough to secure at least a Europa League berth.
Last time out, they were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Everton at the London Stadium, but they should be buoyed by the fact that the Seagulls have nothing left to play for and will be without several players through injury.
Of course, the Irons have had their own problems in recent months, so what sort of line-up could we see from Moyes on the south coast? Here’s our predicted XI, along with the latest team news from Rush Green…
There could be three changes from last weekend’s defeat, with Moyes welcoming back two players from injury.
According to the ever-reliable ExWHUemployee Declan Rice “should play” after missing their last six matches with a knee problem sustained during international duty. He could come straight back into the lineup, taking the place of Manuel Lanzini, who was withdrawn with a muscle issue during the first half against Everton.
Angelo Ogbonna was named on the bench for the game last weekend but, having enjoyed an extra week of preparation, he may also return to the heart of the Hammers’ defence, with Moyes opting for a centre-back three.
On the left, Aaron Cresswell should recover from a dead leg, whilst Vladimir Coufal is preferred to Ryan Fredericks on the right.
In midfield, “special talent” Rice – in the words of Mark Noble – will likely partner Tomas Soucek, whilst Jesse Lingard keeps his place from Sunday.
There’s no place for Said Benrahma or Pablo Fornals, however. After failing to hit the target once against the Toffees despite all their domination (68% possession), Moyes could look to freshen things up with the inclusion of Jarrod Bowen, who makes his first start in three outings.
The former Hull winger will have a point to prove and could be a decent gamble to make over the 25-year-old Algerian this time around. Meanwhile, Michail Antonio will lead the line as usual.