David Moyes’ West Ham United side head into tonight’s FA Cup clash with Southampton on the back of a much-needed win, with the Hammers’ defeating Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 on Sunday – a result which saw their push for a top-four finish get well and truly back on track.
However, with a challenging fixture against Liverpool coming up this weekend, as well as the extremely tough task of visiting Sevilla in the Europa League round of 16 next week, it would not be surprising to see the Scot field a heavily rotated side at St. Mary’s.
So, how many changes will Moyes make to the team that started the victory over Wolves last weekend? Here’s how we think West Ham could line up against Saints, as well as the latest team and injury news…
With David Moyes recently revealing that he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to the South Coast – although Vladimir Coufal, Ryan Fredericks, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna remain sidelined, while Andriy Yarmolenko is also a doubt – we predict that Moyes will make seven changes to the side that lined up against Wolves on Sunday.
The first of these changes comes between the sticks, with the £138k-per-week Alphonse Areola – who Peter Drury one dubbed “remarkable” – taking the place of Lukasz Fabianski, as has typically been the case in cup competitions this season.
In defence, Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson start at left and right-back respectively, while 21-year-old Aji Alese – dubbed “gold dust” by Tom Edwards – is handed a rare start alongside Issa Diop at centre-back.
In midfield, Mark Noble comes in alongside Declan Rice in the middle of the park, while Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini make way for Nikola Vlasic and Said Benrahma on the left and in the number 10 role, with Jarrod Bowen starting on the right.
Up top, promising 18-year-old centre-forward Sonny Perkins is handed just his second senior start of the campaign, while Michail Antonio is handed a well-earned break amongst the substitutes.