David Moyes will hope to see West Ham United get back to winning ways against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, but will have to do so without Declan Rice.
The midfielder has been ruled out of the Irons’ trip to Molineux with a knee injury sustained during England’s win over Poland last week, and faces four to six weeks in the treatment room.
Noble is unlikely to be the sole change from the side that let slip a three-goal lead over Arsenal last month. So, with that in mind, here’s a potential line-up that Moyes may field…
West Ham are winless in their last two Premier League games after allowing Arsenal to come from three down to snatch a point last time out, but beat Wolves 4-0 at the London Stadium back in September.
Wolves have struggled for consistency all season and will host the Irons after two draws and two defeats in their last four top-flight fixtures. But Nuno Espirito Santo will likely hope that Noble starting in place of Rice will now aid their efforts for a first win since February.
Noble has only started four Premier League games thus far this term, which have seen his east London outfit draw once and lose three times – most recently against Manchester United when overran in the engine room by the likes of Mason Greenwood.
Along with Rice, Moyes will be without Angelo Ogbonna and Andriy Yarmolenko at Molineux, but is expected to have Arthur Masuaku back in his matchday squad for the first time since December following knee surgery.
“Arthur is back playing. He played a reserve game a week or so ago, so he’s back around the squad, but whether he is fully match-fit yet, we have to question it,” Moyes said on Friday.
“Yarmolenko is not ready yet. He went to see a specialist about his medial knee ligament injury again which we don’t think is too bad, but we’re not quite convinced with it.
“Angelo Ogbonna is making good progress but he’s not ready at this moment in time, so we’ve got a few knocks and niggles like everybody else, but we’ve also got a few players getting closer to returning to match fitness as well.”
One player who Moyes could unleash against Wolves that was unavailable at home to Arsenal is Pablo Fornals, as the £16m-rated Spaniard is said to have overcome a groin injury and has been touted to replace Said Benrahma in the starting line-up.
Fornals had started his last three Premier League appearances and assisted Jesse Lingard’s game-winning goal at home to Tottenham Hotspur in February, while Benrahma remains without a goal for West Ham across all competitions.
Michail Antonio, Lingard and Jarrod Bowen would each expect to start in attack alongside Fornals if Benrahma is axed, while Tomas Soucek will line up alongside Noble in midfield.
Ogbonna’s continued absence will likely see Moyes name an unchanged backline of Aaron Cresswell, Issa Diop, Craig Dawson and Vladimir Coufal in front of Lukasz Fabianski in goal.