David Moyes’ West Ham United side finally return to European action this evening, with the much-anticipated 17:00 kick-off against Sevilla fast approaching.
However, with Jarrod Bowen picking up a heel injury in the 1-0 loss to Liverpool on Saturday, as well as Declan Rice having been absent from the trip to Anfield due to a virus, the 58-year-old looks set to have a number of tough calls to make regarding his team selection ahead of the tie.
So, how many changes will Moyes make to the side that started the defeat to Liverpool on Saturday? Here’s how we think West Ham could line up against Sevilla, as well as the latest team and injury news…
With it being recently revealed that Declan Rice has made the trip to Spain with the rest of the West Ham squad, while the aforementioned Bowen, as well as longer-term absences Angelo Ogbonna and Vladimir Coufal, are set to miss out, we predict that Moyes will make three changes to the side that lined up at Anfield last weekend.
The first of these changes comes between the West Ham sticks, with Moyes opting to go for the £138k-per-week Alphonse Areola – who Thomas Tuchel dubbed an “exceptional” talent – ahead of Lukasz Fabianski, while the back four of Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma, Craig Dawson and Ben Johnson remains untouched.
In the middle of the park, Declan Rice returns alongside Tomas Soucek in central midfield, while Manuel Lanzini returns to his favoured role in the number 10 position.
On the left wing, Pablo Fornals keeps his starting berth, while the 24-year-old Nikola Vlasic – who Moyes labelled an “important” player – makes way for the return of Said Benrahma – who starts on the right in the place of the stricken Bowen.
Finally, Michail Antonio leads the line for the Hammers, with the centre-forward undoubtedly hoping to add to his total of one Europa League goal so far this season at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.