West Ham United will be looking to get back on track in the Premier League after they picked up their first defeat of the 2021/22 campaign last weekend, but they will be buoyed by revenge in midweek.
David Moyes’ side fell to a gutting 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, with last season’s loan star Jesse Lingard bagging the winner, but the east London outfit overcame a much-changed Red Devils side in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday.
Overall, the Irons’ start to the new season has been hugely encouraging and it leaves the 58-year-old with a selection nightmare as several fringe players excelled after a number of key starters were rested.
The Hammers head to Yorkshire to face Leeds United, who appear to be decimated in defence – Marcelo Bielsa is expected to be without three senior centre-backs, with Robin Koch, Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk either on the treatment table or suspended. There are also doubts over vice-captain Luke Ayling.
It gives Moyes something major to exploit, which means he should probably recall Said Benrahma to the starting XI – and he must be played out on that left-flank.
The tricky Algerian winger could feast upon the Whites’ troubles. Bielsa will either have to turn to 19-year-old Charlie Cresswell to make his Premier League debut or drop Kalvin Phillips into the backline from defensive midfield, whilst midfielder Stuart Dallas may have to feature at right-back.
Someone of Benrahma’s skill and technical ability should be able to make the most of these setbacks.
The £26m-rated dynamo has started the season on fire, providing three goals and two assists across five appearances, via Transfermarkt, and he could continue that rich vein of form at Elland Road if unleashed from the off.
The Irons star is averaging 2.2 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per league outing so far this season, via WhoScored, and that is exactly why he could absolutely terrorise a barren Leeds side this afternoon.
Moyes simply has to start Benrahma up in Yorkshire today.