West Ham United visit Chelsea tonight looking to record back-to-back victories at Stamford Bridge for the first time since February 1996.
The Blues have only lost once in their last 14 Premier League home meetings with the Hammers but they tasted defeat in this exact fixture last season as the Irons did the double over Frank Lampard’s side.
West Ham have not beaten Chelsea in three-straight top-flight games since March 1974, and any hopes of David Moyes resetting the clock may be hindered with the Scottish coach confirming that both Michail Antonio and Fabian Balbuena are doubts for the clash.
Not everyone shone in claret and blue as the London Stadium natives settled for a point against Crystal Palace during the week, either. So, with changes on the cards, here’s a line-up Moyes could name on Monday night…
Lukasz Fabianski conceded a goal for the 16th time in the Premier League this season when he was beaten by Christian Benteke on Wednesday night, yet he will be expected to remain between the sticks for the London Derby with Chelsea, having opened West Ham’s last 28 games.
The Poland international would have been disappointed by Issa Diop’s efforts to thwart Benteke on a poor night for the Frenchman, which may see Moyes opt to hand Craig Dawson his Irons debut at Stamford Bridge in place of the 23-year-old should Balbuena not be passed fit after missing the Eagles draw with a groin injury.
Dawson joined on a season-long loan from Watford in the summer but is yet to play a single minute under Moyes and he has been often criticised by supporters as an underwhelming addition and one who some had forgotten even plays for their club.
Aaron Cresswell will expect to start in defence alongside Angelo Ogbonna and Vladimir Coufal with Arthur Masuaku sidelined after knee surgery, with Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice again locking down the engine room.
Midfielder Pablo Fornals offered a dire display in the midweek clash with Crystal Palace and was hauled off at the break for Manuel Lanzini, who lit up the stage in the second-half and as such, he will anticipate starting over the Spaniard at Stamford Bridge.
Lanzini earning his first start of the league season will allow for Benrahma to open the action at left-wing after moving from the centre against Roy Hodgson’s Eagles, where he can offer width with Jarrod Bowen in support of Sebastien Haller.
Moyes will likely not risk Antonio after sharing doubts about the striker overcoming the hamstring injury which has prevented his involvement in recent weeks.
“Michail Antonio’s back on the grass so we’re pleased to see him back. Whether it is too quick for him, we’ll need to assess,” the former Manchester United boss said.