David Moyes is blessed with a near fully-fit squad to choose from against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night as West Ham United look to match their best run of form since 2012.
The Irons drew 1-1 at home to the Eagles when the two sides met last month, with Roy Hodgson’s 10-man side able to hold on for a point after Sebastien Haller equalised following Christian Benteke’s first-half opener.
So, as West Ham chase their best-ever start to a calendar year, here’s a potential line-up Moyes could opt for when his side descends on Selhurst Park…
Michail Antonio comes into the midweek clash fresh after being rested against Doncaster in the FA Cup, and will be hoping to extend his best run of form in front of the net this season after scoring match-winning goals against Burnley and West Bromwich Albion.
Moyes has lauded the impact the striker has brought to the side since recovering from a second hamstring injury of the term, which left Arthur Masuaku as the only player currently sidelined in east London.
“We’re okay in terms of team news,” the Scottish coach said. “We’ve got Arthur Masuaku, who has been out for a while with a knee injury, but apart from that, we don’t have too many others.
“Having Michail back makes a huge difference for us. He’s such an important player for us. I think he’s still a little way off his best, from when we came back after lockdown, and we have to get him back to that level. But if he keeps getting us a goal a game, we won’t be complaining, that’s for sure.”
Moyes will not be complaining if Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell and Vladimir Coufal are also able to continue protecting Lukasz Fabianski’s goal at a similar level as in recent weeks, with the unit conceding one goal in their four Premier League fixtures together.
Declan Rice was also rested for the cup tie over the weekend but will be expected to return to the starting line-up at Crystal Palace, in a very similar XI to the side that beat West Brom 2-1 last week.
The only alteration to the starting line-up that beat the Baggies is likely to come with Manuel Lanzini dropping out, with the £70,000-per-week Argentine replaced by Pablo Fornals after the Spaniard got West Ham off to the perfect start at home to Doncaster on Saturday.
Fornals started the move which led to his second-minute goal by winning possession on the halfway line, before continuing his run to meet Ryan Fredericks’ cross and hammering home past Ellery Balcombe.
Fornals starting will likely see Said Benrahma moved centrally after being initially fielded at left-midfield against West Brom, but often drifting inside before swapping roles with Lanzini as his wait for a first West Ham goal continues.