David Moyes will make five West Ham changes for AEK Larnaca after a decision on a rumoured strike duo experiment.

That’s our prediction ahead of tonight’s Europa Conference League second leg clash with the Cypriot side.

West Ham already have one foot in the quarter-finals following last week’s 2-0 first leg win.

The Hammers were fortunate to land one of the lowest ranked teams left in the competition.

And they all but secured progress to the last eight of European competition thanks to a Michail Antonio brace in the first leg.

The second leg against Larnaca cannot be considered a “dead rubber” given anything can happen in knockout football.

Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images

But it would take a monumental shock for West Ham to throw it away given their 2-0 advantage.

That – coupled with the fact West Ham don’t play again for 17 days after tonight – make second guessing what Moyes might do very difficult indeed.

Does he rest key stars, many of whom will now head off on international duty, or go full strength to try and put the game to bed early before making changes?

We know Moyes will be without at least four players due to injury and suspension.

Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal and Antonio are all out injured while Flynn Downes is suspended.

Manchester United v West Ham United: Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round
Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Predicted: David Moyes makes five West Ham changes for Larnaca after decision on strike duo experiment

We also know Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca will be starting after the club took the highly unusual step of confirming as much 24 hours before the game.

There has been speculation and rumour that Moyes might try something different and play with two strikers by having Danny Ings in the side alongside or just behind Scamacca.

It must be assumed Alphonse Areola will be in goal again.

So we predict Moyes makes five West Ham changes for Larnaca after a decision on that strike duo experiment.

Ben Johnson will replace Thilo Kehrer at right-back in change number one from the first leg in Cyprus.

Southampton FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Rice rested ahead of England double header?

Angelo Ogbonna will come back in to replace Nayef Aguerd in West Ham change number two.

Tomas Soucek will replace the suspended Downes in change number three.

Declan Rice may be rested given he is likely to play two intense England qualifying matches over the next week or so.

He will be replaced by Lucas Paqueta in change number four.

Moyes will reject the opportunity to try out Ings up top with Scamacca as the Italian replaces Antonio in change number five.

Expect to see minutes for Maxwel Cornet, Jarrod Bowen and Ings in the second half. And depending on the score young midfielder Freddie Potts may also get only his third taste of first team action.

Predicted West Ham starting XI to face AEK Larnaca in the UECL last 16 second leg:

Areola, Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Paqueta, Benrahma, Fornals, Lanzini, Scamacca.


‘I shouldn’t say that’ Star is latest to aim not so subtle dig at Moyes’ tactics.

Millwall could inadvertently help West Ham sign Brazilian midfielder.

Big kit change for West Ham next season after announcement.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know

More in Match Preview