West Ham United will hope to claim their second win of the week when David Moyes’ side host Leicester City on Sunday with a chance to move to within a point of Brendan Rodgers’ men.
The Irons entered the weekend four points down on the Foxes and fourth in the Premier League table, but can lay a sizable marker in the race for Champions League qualification by beating the King Power Stadium natives.
West Ham won 3-2 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday after storming to their second successive three-goal lead inside 40 minutes, but lost leading striker Michail Antonio to a hamstring injury which could end his season.
Jarrod Bowen replaced Antonio before scoring the Hammers’ third goal at Molineux and will expect to start on Sunday if the forward is deemed unfit. However, he may not be the only change – with that in mind, here’s a potential line-up Moyes could name, with three alterations from the team which started against Wolves…
Moyes refused to give too much away when speaking to the media on Friday over the fitness of his squad, but admitted that it is likely that Antonio will join Declan Rice in the treatment room.
“We’ve obviously had a couple of injuries and I don’t think Mick is going to make this game, but I think, apart from that, we’re not too bad,” the Irons manager said. “I won’t give you any more information on Declan Rice, to be honest.
“I will just say he has got an injury as everybody is aware and we’ll try and get him back as quick as we can. We don’t want to put any timescale on it. Obviously, he’s an important player, but we move on and we have other players who we hope can come in and help us.”
Mark Noble started in place of Rice at Wolves and is likely to again partner Tomas Soucek in the engine room against Leicester, but may line up behind a changed attacking quartet.
Bowen – who Alex McLeish has described as “different class” – is now West Ham’s joint second-best scorer in the Premier League this season with seven goals in 30 games after scoring at Molineux. Only Soucek (nine) has more, while Antonio has struck seven and Jesse Lingard six.
Bowen is now to likely stand in for the injured Antonio, while Said Benrahma could start next to Lingard and Pablo Fornals to earn only his third start in West Ham’s last eight top-flight games in place of Arthur Masuaku.
Moyes will be reluctant to overwork Masuaku following his return from a knee injury against Wolves, having missed the London Stadium natives’ previous 20 games in all competitions following surgery in December.
West Ham have been without Angelo Ogbonna for their last seven games after sustaining a high ankle sprain against Manchester United in the FA Cup, but could welcome the Italian centre-half back into the fold against Leicester.
The Hammers have kept two clean sheets in the seven top-flight fixtures Ogbonna has missed, while conceding eight goals to the seven allowed in his last seven outings.