David Moyes makes three West Ham changes for the game against Newcastle as star is dropped over poor form.
That’s our Hammers News prediction when Newcastle visit the London Stadium this lunchtime.
West Ham entertain Newcastle with both sides needing to win for very different reasons.
The Hammers will be desperate to win to keep pace with the race for the top four. Newcastle meanwhile – on a run of three straight league wins and five unbeaten – know a victory could give them some breathing space in the battle against relegation.
West Ham were boosted this week when brilliant Newcastle January signing Kieran Trippier was ruled out having fractured his foot.
Moyes himself admitted he was glad Trippier is not playing, so good have his performances been for Newcastle (whufc.com).
The West Ham boss told the press he has ‘one or two’ injury doubts ahead of the game (whufc.com).
But pictures from West Ham training yesterday showed all 11 players who started last time out against Leicester in action, except right-back Vladimir Coufal. Kurt Zouma was also not in the images.
That doesn’t necessarily mean either will not start. Moyes admitted he hopes to have Zouma available to play after a bout of sickness.
Predicted: David Moyes makes three West Ham changes for Newcastle as star is dropped
But given Coufal’s poor performances, particularly of late, he will be one of three changes Moyes makes for Newcastle.
Ben Johnson was pictured in training and will surely come into the side in Coufal’s place, ahead of Ryan Fredericks.
From Moyes’s comments it sounds like Zouma should be available. So he will come back in for Issa Diop, who put in a rare top performance in the 2-2 draw at Leicester.
The third change will see Pablo Fornals drop out of the side for Said Benrahma.
The Algerian impressed as a substitute against Leicester but he must focus on making a real impact when he starts matches for West Ham. Because all too often he doesn’t.
Manuel Lanzini keeps his place and will be used in a deeper role affording Tomas Soucek the chance to perhaps get forward a bit more.
Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Newcastle:
Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Benrahma, Bowen, Antonio.