David Moyes will be tempted to remain with an unchanged starting XI for West Ham’s trip to Merseyside this afternoon.
But the Scotsman did hint at a couple of injury worries following the international break, so that may not be possible.
Last time out, the Irons suffered only their second defeat of the 2021/22 campaign, losing to a last-gasp goal against newly-promoted Brentford and now they head to Goodison Park to face an in-form Everton side.
It leaves Moyes with plenty of selection headaches but with that in mind, here’s the Hammers XI we’re predicting today…
There could be as many as three changes from the side that tasted defeat at the London Stadium.
Between the sticks, Lukasz Fabianski is expected to resume duties, with Paris Saint-Germain loanee Alphonse Areola only being used sparingly in the cup competitions.
We’re also predicting there to be a shuffle in defence as Issa Diop comes in for Angelo Ogbonna to form an all-French partnership in the middle. He’s yet to start in the league but after assistant manager Stuart Pearce described him as a “colossus“, it’s surely a matter of time before he does.
Whilst there have been concerns over the fitness of Vladimir Coufal.
The 29-year-old right-back pulled out of international duty for the Czech Republic during the break and still may not be risked just yet. You could tell he was rushed back for the Brentford defeat and he looked some way off his usual standard.
Instead, we may see Ben Johnson pair up with fellow full-back Aaron Cresswell.
It’s in midfield where there is a third and final change as club captain Mark Noble gets the nod over Tomas Soucek.
According to The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas, “it would not come as a surprise” if Moyes rested the Czech Republic international ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Genk.
He has played a lot of football since the start of last season, resulting in some leggy outings in recent weeks. He played the full 90 minutes on international duty twice last week.
Noble joins England star Declan Rice in the engine room, whilst the attack remains untouched, meaning Michail Antonio leads the line, having benefitted from pulling out of the Jamaica squad.
He’ll be supported by the trio of Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen.
AND in other news, Moyes must brutally axe “unplayable” £45k-per-week star at Goodison Park…