No Soucek, 21 y/o gem & 6 ft 4 “colossus” start in 6 changes: Predicted West Ham XI – opinion

No Soucek, 21 y/o gem & 6 ft 4 “colossus” start in 6 changes: Predicted West Ham XI – opinion

West Ham will host their first-ever Europa League group stage match at the London Stadium this evening and David Moyes will be looking to build on their recent form.

The Irons kickstarted their quest for glory in Europe with an impressive 2-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb, arguably the toughest of all the teams in their group.

Meanwhile, back in the Premier League, the Hammers secured a last-gasp victory against Leeds United on Saturday afternoon, meaning they have lost just once across all competitions since the start of the 2021/22 campaign.

Moyes has plenty of selection headaches facing him heading into kickoff, especially with a clash against Brentford this weekend, so what sort of side could we see in east London tonight?

Here’s what Football FanCast are predicting…

Predicted-West-Ham-XI-vs-Rapid-Wien-in-the-Europa-League

There could be as many as six changes from the win at Elland Road as the Scotsman balances injuries and rotation.

We may see PSG loanee Alphonse Areola return between the sticks, handing veteran shot-stopper Lukasz Fabianski a rest, whilst there is one enforced change to the backline.

It’s believed that Vladimir Coufal is a doubt for this clash, so he may not be risked, even if he does make the squad and with his usual back-up, Ryan Fredericks also out through injury, Moyes may have to turn to 21-year-old academy graduate Ben Johnson.

He will join Kurt Zouma and Aaron Cresswell, who both remain from Sunday, with Issa Diop coming back in after he was described as a “colossus” for his performance against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup last week.

The 6 foot 4 titan’s involvement also allows Angelo Ogobonna a rest.

Elsewhere, Declan Rice was doing pre-match press duties, which could provide a clue into him starting but he may be joined by Alex Kral, rather than Tomas Soucek as the usual Czech starter needs a break.

Further up the pitch, we could see Manuel Lanzini and Nikola Vlasic return to the starting XI, playing alongside Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio.

It means there is no place for either of Said Benrahma or Jarrod Bowen, who are likely to start on Sunday against the Bees.

AND in other news, ExWHUemployee drops exciting behind-the-scenes West Ham claim. fans are surely buzzing

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