David Moyes has confirmed that West Ham United will boast a near fully-fit squad when they travel to Fulham on Saturday looking to do the double over their London rivals.
The Irons beat the Cottagers 1-0 when the sides met in November, with a 91st-minute strike from Tomas Soucek all that could separate the two after Ademola Lookman’s Panenka-style penalty was easily saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
The result ended a three-game winless run for West Ham and sparked a turn of fortunes that has helped the Hammers push for a European qualifying berth for next season, while Fulham have won just one of their following 13 Premier League fixtures.
Moyes will hope he can extend Scott Parker’s dire run when the Hammers visit Craven Cottage on Saturday. And, with that in mind, here’s a potential XI West Ham could field…
Moyes will not be expected to tinker too much with his starting line-up at Fulham this weekend with West Ham only losing once in 2021, claiming seven wins in eight across all competitions.
The one change the former Manchester United boss is likely to make will come in midfield with Ryan Fredericks stepping aside for Jarrod Bowen to return, after the £40,000-per-week defender featured against Aston Villa to provide additional support for Vladimir Coufal against Jack Grealish.
Bowen fell out of the side as a result but would doubt a second game on the bench, having scored five goals in 22 top-flight appearances to date this term – only Soucek (8) has found the back of the net more often for the Irons.
Fulham do not possess players with the same skill as Aston Villa’s £100m talisman Grealish, so Moyes would be expected to go for the jugular rather than play things cautiously at Craven Cottage.
This opens the door for the tantalising prospect of a front four featuring Bowen beside Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma and midweek hero Jesse Lingard, who scored a brace on his Hammers debut following a late winter move from Manchester United on loan.
The quartet will also be joined by November’s match-winner Soucek and his pre-emptive runs into the box, and offered cover by Declan Rice in front of West Ham’s back four.
West Ham will be expected to name an unchanged defence of Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna, Craig Dawson and Coufal with Fabianski in goal against Fulham.
Dawson endured a difficult night against Aston Villa in midweek, but had scored his side’s third in a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace last month and found the back of the net against Liverpool for his third goal for the Irons since joining on loan from Watford.