West Ham have an opportunity to climb back into the Premier League’s top four when they host Sheffield United at the London Stadium on Monday evening.
Victory would take the Hammers above struggling champions Liverpool, although they may find themselves out of a Champions League spot should Chelsea – as they are expected to – overcome Newcastle later the same night.
David Moyes has a couple of injury and fatigue concerns heading into the game, but should be confident of picking up three points against a Sheffield United side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. The Blades have perked up in recent weeks, but are still a long way adrift of safety and are dead certs to be heading back to the Championship.
Ahead of the game, here’s 90min‘s picks for who should start for West Ham.
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – West Ham’s undisputed number one continues his gig in goal, and will have an eighth clean sheet of the season firmly on the mind.
Vladimir Coufal (RB) – You’ve heard a million times over that Coufal is one of the signings of the season, and for good reason. The Czech never stops running and could be a real threat doubling up on the right.
Craig Dawson (CB) – Has barely put a foot wrong since he came into the side. Now the senior partner with Angelo Ogbonna missing.
Issa Diop (CB) – Came on against Manchester United in the FA Cup before swiftly heading off again after taking a blow to the head. Concussion protocols have been passed and he’s the man to step into the Italian’s big shoes.
Aaron Cresswell (LB) – In contention for a spot in England’s Euros squad? Probably not, but he’s absolutely worth considering.
Declan Rice (CM) – One player definitely heading to the Euros with England is Rice, who continues to go from strength to strength each week. Has assumed the captaincy and responsibility that comes with it all so easily.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – A real contender for West Ham’s player of the season so far. A tremendous box-to-box player who energises the team and makes those around him better.
Jesse Lingard (AM) – Was a little flat against Fulham but that’s to be expected given his lack of minutes and the stodgy Craven Cottage pitch. Time for a first crack of the whip at home.
Jarrod Bowen (RW) – Has been hopelessly out of form and does look tired. However, if there’s ever an opponent you want to face to get back in touch, it’s the Premier League’s bottom side.
Michail Antonio (ST) – Another player who has suffered with fatigue, but Antonio is irreplaceable – particularly when a chance at getting back into the top four is at stake. Should be good to go at full throttle for at least 65-70 minutes.
Said Benrahma (LW) – A goal would be fantastic for the Algerian’s confidence, but he’s been steadily improving for the past month or so. Looks so dangerous on the ball and his potential link-up with Lingard is a mouthwatering prospect.