David Moyes is facing a selection dilemma ahead of hosting Burnley at the London Stadium on Saturday with West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski due a late fitness test.
The Poland international missed the Irons’ last two matches with a thigh injury, which saw Darren Randolph step in to help the Hammers go unbeaten in their last four fixtures across all competitions thanks to back-to-back wins over Everton and Stockport County.
Victory on Saturday over Sean Dyche’s Clarets will see West Ham claim a third-straight win for only the second time this season, but face doing so against a side they have lost to in each of their previous three meetings with an aggregate score of 6-0.
Moyes is likely to introduce a handful of changes to the side which beat Stockport in the FA Cup in hopes of a first win over Burnley since November 2018. So, with that in mind, here’s a potential XI the Scottish coach could favour…
Fabianski facing a late fitness test before the visit of Burnley would suggest West Ham are not yet convinced the Poland international has overcome his thigh injury, allowing for Randolph to chase a third-straight clean sheet across all competitions after taking his record to 15 shut outs in 50 appearances at Stockport on Monday night.
Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna all started the FA Cup affair at Edgeley Park as the trio continue to build a strong partnership together, and will expect to be reunited with Aaron Cresswell on Saturday after the left-back was initially rested against Jim Gannon’s side.
Dawson has helped West Ham to keep clean sheets in all three of his appearances since making his debut at Southampton last month, and provided the winning goal against Stockport to cap off a performance that featured a game-high six aerial duels won.
Mark Noble returned to partner Declan Rice in the engine room against Stockport but is likely to move aside for Tomas Soucek to return, with the 25-year-old West Ham’s top-scorer in the Premier League to date with five goals in 17 games.
Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini failed to impress at Edgeley Park, so will likely move aside for Jarrod Bowen to return and Said Benrahma to move in centrally having been fielded in the role for each of his three Premier League starts thus far this season.
£24m man Pablo Fornals was also rested in the FA Cup having earned his 16th start of the top-flight campaign at Everton on New Year’s Day, with the £16m-rated Spaniard the clear favourite of Moyes among his options for the left-wing role at the London Stadium.
Moyes is void of options in attack after Sebastien Haller’s £20m move to AFC Ajax, leaving Michail Antonio to start his first league fixture since November when taken off at the break after developing a second hamstring injury.
Antonio returned to the fold in last month’s 0-0 draw with Southampton and played half an hour at Everton before starting in the FA Cup, but failed to score in either of his three outings to remain on three for the season.
Additionally, Moyes has hinted at a role for academy sensation Mipo Odubeko in his matchday squad against Burnley, after handing the 18-year-old his senior debut as a late substitute at Edgeley park.
“Mipo is somebody we’re looking forward to working with,” he noted. “We have big hopes for him. He’s just back from a long-term hamstring injury too, but we like him a lot and we’ll try to bring him along at the right time and when we think we need him.”