West Ham United turn their attention back to Premier League duties today as they travel to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, following Thursday night’s famous victory over Sevilla which saw them progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
David Moyes’ side are well within a chance of qualifying for Europe, currently sixth in the table ahead of the trip to north London. They are level on points with Spurs, who sit one place behind then but have a game in hand.
The fixture could probe to be of immense importance for both teams’ seasons, so Moyes will be keen to retain as many of those who played on Thursday as possible. However, having played just three days ago, the Scotsman will surely make some changes today.
Here is how Football FanCast thinks the Hammers will line up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this afternoon, with two changes predicted from the win over Sevilla.
There is a change in between the sticks as Lukasz Fabianski takes over from cup ‘keeper Alphonse Areola, who has deputised for cup and European games this season.
The Poland international has missed just Premier League match this season, keeping seven clean sheets in the process, and he is still Moyes preferred choice in goal.
There are no changes at the back after a colossal shift from all four defenders on Thursday, keeping a clean sheet against Sevilla, who are flying in La Liga.
Moreover, there are no changes in midfield as the partnership of Declan Rice and Tomas Souček once again proved a treat last time out, with the latter scoring the Irons’ first goal on Thursday night. Furthermore, with the presence of Manuel Lanzini, the midfield also has some attacking quality which could prove particularly useful on the counterattack.
As expected, Michail Antonio keeps his place up front, whilst Pablo Fornals keeps his place on the left flank after excellent performances against Aston Villa, against whom the Spaniard scored, and Sevilla.
However, there is a change on the other flank as Said Benrahma drops out for Andriy Yarmolenko. The £100k-per-week Ukrainian has come off the bench to score a decisive goal in West Ham’s last two matches and deserves a start today, especially when there will surely be tired legs in the squad.
Amid the ongoing conflict in his homeland, both goals from the winger have prompted emotional celebrations, with Garth Crooks describing the 32-year-old’s recent goal against Aston Villa as “magical”.
Not only is this afternoon’s game a fierce London derby, it’s also of significant magnitude for both teams’ seasons, so Moyes will need to ensure that he gets his team selection spot-on in order to come away from Tottenham with a result.