David Moyes faces a potential goalkeeper crisis with Lukasz Fabianski and Darren Randolph both injury concerns ahead of West Ham hosting Leeds United in the Premier League on Monday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites visit the London Stadium to round out the weekend’s action, after the Irons landed a nine-day break between fixtures since losing 2-1 at Manchester City last time out.
The Hammers were strong for much of the Etihad Stadium affair but fell to goals from centre-backs Ruben Dias and John Stones, while a wait for action has seen the east London natives slip to seventh in the standings but with at least one game in hand on each of the sides above them bar Everton.
The Toffees visit fourth-placed Chelsea earlier on Monday night with a view to moving inside the Champions League place previously occupied by West Ham. So, as Moyes strives to keep West Ham in the top-four race, here’s a potential line-up that the Scot could field against Leeds…
Republic of Ireland international Randolph opened the action as West Ham lost 2-1 to Manchester City last time out after Fabianski was ruled unfit the day before, having developed an elbow injury following an accidental training ground collision.
Unfortunately for the Irons, Randolph suffered a minor recurrence of a recent thigh injury at the Etihad that has required further treatment, but Moyes was hopeful that at least one of his shot-stoppers will be passed fit ahead of tonight’s clash with Leeds.
“I think we’re pretty much as we were,” Moyes said on Friday while discussing his side’s fitness. “Lukasz Fabianski hasn’t trained yet [this week], but he’s got a chance of playing.
“Darren Randolph’s got a little bit of a problem with his hip. He’s doing a bit of work in the gym. We’ve got a little bit of a consideration with both of our goalkeepers, but I’m hoping that I’ll have one of them fit for the game on Monday night.”
Should both be deemed fit, Fabianski will be expected to take over duties between the sticks, having kept eight clean sheets in 24 Premier League games this season to Randolph’s one shut out in two top-flight outings to date.
Ben Johnson endured a challenging afternoon against Manchester City having returned to the starting line-up to occupy the left-back spot in Moyes’ five-man defence, and will be expected to fall to the bench at home to Leeds.
The versatile defender taking a seat on the sidelines will, in turn, see a return to the four-man defence of Aaron Cresswell, Craig Dawson, Issa Diop and Vladimir Coufal as West Ham continue to await the return of Angelo Ogbonna from a high ankle sprain.
Jesse Lingard has played all but eight of an available 450 minutes since joining West Ham on loan from Manchester United in January, and will strive to continue his run of scoring or assisting a goal in his last three outings in claret and blue.
The Red Devils-owned playmaker will be expected to feature more centrally against Leeds than he did against Manchester City, having offered little defensive support on the left-wing at the Etihad.
Lingard moving back into the central position would allow Moyes to recall £23,000-per-week playmaker Said Benrahma, who has not started either of the Irons’ last three league games despite penning his fifth assist of the season across all competitions in last month’s 3-0 win over Sheffield United.
Michail Antonio will hope to add his eighth goal of the Premier League campaign at home to Leeds after scoring in each of his last two outings.