David Moyes drops big West Ham selection hint for Brighton after growing calls from some Hammers fans for changes in a couple of positions.
The Hammers go into the game against Graham Potter’s Seagulls off the back of rare consecutive Premier League defeats.
West Ham have been beaten by Wolves and Man City, the first time the Hammers have lost back-to-back games since April.
The last time it happened – in defeats to Newcastle and Chelsea – it effectively cost West Ham a top four place during the run-in.
This time – with a third of the season gone – it threatens their place in the top four again with Arsenal now level on points with Moyes’s boys.
Brighton have become West Ham’s bogey side since their promotion to the Prem.
Potter has turned them into a strong outfit and some West Ham fans feel changes might be needed to give the team a kickstart.
There are growing calls among some Hammers supporters for Moyes to drop duo Ben Johnson and Said Benrahma for Brighton.
Young star Johnson was a revelation before the international break, keeping Vladimir Coufal out of the side.
But while he has not been West Ham’s worst player by any means in the recent defeats, many feel he does not offer the same attacking threat and crucial overlap as Coufal.
Benrahma has been poor too in a number of games of late being subbed off against Aston Villa, Wolves and Man City.
Given Manuel Lanzini’s impressive cameos and the fact Moyes singled the Argentine out for praise after the Man City defeat, he is expected to replace Benrahma from the start at the London Stadium.
And speaking in his pre-match press conference, Moyes dropped another big selection hint for the Brighton game.
The Scot appears set to stick with Johnson in the side.
David Moyes drops big West Ham selection hint for Brighton
“Ben Johnson has certainly grasped his opportunity since coming into the side,” Moyes said in his pre-match presser (whufc.com).
“He’s a great boy to work with. He’s had to wait because we’ve had a few right backs at the moment. He got his opportunity through a couple of injuries and he’s come in and shown what he can do.
“He needs to keep it up and keep his standards high but we’re really pleased with Ben. He had a really good game against Raheem Sterling on Sunday, as he did at home when we played them in the cup as well. I have to say well done to Ben, he’s started the season very well.
“Sometimes you need a couple of games and Ben got it because of injuries to Vladimír and Ryan (Fredericks) at the time.
“He’s taken it and certainly earned his position and the chance to get that jersey.”
It may be that Coufal starts as well if Aaron Cresswell does not pass a late fitness test.