West Ham United head into Monday evening’s Premier League meeting with Arsenal in desperate need of three points, with David Moyes’ side currently sitting just above the top-flight relegation zone in 16th place.
Indeed, the Hammers’ 2022/23 domestic campaign has so far been one largely to forget, with the Irons having won four, drawn two and lost nine of their opening 14 top-flight fixtures this season – picking up a mere 14 points.
And, with the east London outfit currently on a run of three straight defeats in the league, the 59-year-old will undoubtedly be hoping for his side to finally kickstart their league campaign by picking up a positive result at The Emirates this evening.
However, with a number of fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of tonight’s meeting with the table-toppers, it appears as if Moyes may have to make a number of changes to the side that lined up in the 2-0 defeat to Leicester City last time out.
So, just how many alterations will the Scot make to his starting XI against the Gunners? Here’s how we at Football FanCast think West Ham could line up in north London, along with the latest team and injury news…
Predicted West Ham XI: Fabianski; Johnson, Kehrer, Dawson, Emerson; Rice, Soucek; Fornals, Paqueta, Benrahma; Bowen.
With the likes of Alphonse Areola, Nayef Aguerd, Aaron Cresswell, Maxwel Cornet, Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca all being doubts for the trip to Arsenal, in addition to Kurt Zouma remaining sidelined due to a knee injury, we predict that Moyes will make three changes to the side that fell to defeat against the Foxes back in November.
Two of these changes come in the back five, with Zouma and Cresswell dropping out of the XI as a result of their aforementioned injuries, with Emerson Palmieri coming in at left-back and Ben Johnson – who Stuart Pearce dubbed “wonderful” – being given the nod at right-back.
Meanwhile, Lukasz Fabianski starts between the sticks and Thilo Kehrer moves in from the right to centre-back, where he partners Craig Dawson in the heart of the Hammers’ backline.
In midfield, the “unplayable” – in the words of Tom Clark – Declan Rice comes straight back into the XI following his World Cup campaign with England alongside Tomas Soucek in the middle of the park, while Pablo Fornals starts on the right wing, Lucas Paqueta is given the nod in the number 10 role and Said Benrahma is let loose on the left flank.
Finally, in attack, with both Antonio and Scamacca appearing unlikely to be fit enough to feature at The Emirates, Moyes is left with little choice other than to deploy Jarrod Bowen in a central role.