West Ham United will be hoping to move themselves away from danger with victory over Bournemouth this evening at the London Stadium, with David Moyes’ side currently languishing just two points above the relegation zone after an underwhelming start to the new season.
After having secured European qualification in each of the past two campaigns, the Hammers have endured something of a slump this time around, having picked up just three wins from their opening 11 Premier League fixtures so far in 2022/23.
The east Londoners will be facing a Cherries outfit who only recently saw a six-game unbeaten run under interim boss Gary O’Neil ended in midweek following a narrow defeat to Southampton, albeit with the Irons having run out 4-0 winners when the two sides last met back in January 2020.
That meeting saw a brace from Mark Noble and strikes from Sebastian Haller and Felipe Anderson secure a home victory for Moyes’ men, with it likely to be a much-changed starting XI from that last encounter this time around.
Ahead of tonight’s clash, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that the hosts will line up…
West Ham are set to once again be without summer signing Lucas Paqueta due to injury, although both Craig Dawson and Maxwel Cornet could have a “chance” of making a return to action, according to Moyes.
With that in mind, we believe that the former Everton boss will make just three changes from the side that lost to Liverpool in midweek, with the only defensive alteration set to see Angelo Ogbonna come into the backline in place of Ben Johnson, with Thilo Kehrer shifting to right-back.
The Hammers had seemingly enjoyed their “best form” last term – according to Moyes – with the veteran Italian partnering Kurt Zouma in the heart of the defence, with there having been something of a “dip” once the 34-year-old was sidelined with injury.
In midfield, a likely return to a 4-2-3-1 formation could well see Flynn Downes make way, while the absence of Paqueta might see Said Benrahma take on the playmaking berth, with the “unplayable” £55k-per-week menace – as described by Joe Cole – having enjoyed a “promising cameo” at Anfield, according to The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas.
On the flanks, Jarrod Bowen will likely keep his usual place on the right wing, while Michail Antonio could well be unleashed in place of Pablo Fornals, with the Spaniard having underwhelmed last time out.
That will see £35.5m man Gianluca Scamacca lead the line once again, with Moyes needing to be “bold” – according to the aforementioned Thomas – to get both the towering striker and Antonio in the same side.