West Ham United entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers as the battle for survival resumes this weekend.
West Ham take on Wolves in the Saturday evening kick-off live on Sky Sports.
Nerves will be jangling with the Hammers facing the prospect of nine games in six weeks to secure survival.
Aston Villa’s fortunate 0-0 draw at home to Sheffield United in the first game back on Wednesday means West Ham stay in 16th place, out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
West Ham were due to play Wolves when the season was shutdown due to the global health crisis.
Moyes prepares to finally face Wolves
Three months on David Moyes must plot a way to beat Nuno Espirito Santo’s impressive outfit.
This time around Wolves do not have the distraction of Europe and a late arrival back from Greece. And playing behind closed doors means West Ham will not have the advantage of supporters acting as the 12th man at the London Stadium.
But ahead of the game Moyes has three major injury concerns and may spring one surprise in his first team selection of the restart.
Key defender Angelo Ogbonna is a big doubt. The Italian has barely trained of late and missed both of West Ham’s warm-up friendlies against QPR and Crystal Palace.
That will probably mean a place in the side for Fabian Balbuena. And it will more than likely mean a place new 20-man squad for untested summer signing Goncalo Cardoso.
Ogbonna, Noble and Masuaku doubts
The next big concern is captain Mark Noble. He did not feature against Palace and is said to be touch and go for the Wolves game.
Thirdly Arthur Masuaku could miss out through injury. With Aaron Cresswell fit that would usually be less of a concern for the Scot. But given the blistering pace of Wolves winger Adama Traore, Masuaku’s own speed could have come in very handy.
Moyes could also spring one big surprise in his line-up by selecting wantaway right-back Jeremy Ngakia.
The young defender has rejected a contract and is refusing to sign an extension that would mean he sees out the rearranged end of season.
If West Ham cannot get the 19-year-old revelation to agree to an extension by June 23rd – the Premier League deadline for extending deals – then he will only be eligible for the games against Wolves and Tottenham.
In other circumstances most managers would ditch a player not committed to the cause.
Moyes to spring Ngakia surprise?
But Moyes may not have much choice. Ngakia was in fine form before the enforced break, establishing himself ahead of Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks.
And he continued to show his ability when he reportedly put in a superb performance in the Palace friendly, scoring a wonderful winning goal to boot.
Moyes may also see starting Ngakia against Wolves as a chance to prove to the player he is highly valued at West Ham and will get game time even with the likes of Ben Johnson and Fredericks fit.
And there is no danger of any adverse reaction from the terraces with the absence of a crowd.
If Moyes gets the feeling that nothing is going to change Ngakia’s mind he will opt to go with Fredericks or Johnson instead.
Elsewhere Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko look set to be the big names that miss out on a starting place.
They will likely join Jack Wilshere on the bench.
Predicted West Ham line-up to face Wolves:
Fabianski, Ngakia, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell, Fornals, Rice, Soucek, Antonio, Bowen, Haller.