David Moyes will make two changes for Sevilla after double blow but a more technical West Ham could work well.
That’s the Hammers News verdict as we name our predicted team for tonight’s huge Europa League last 16 second leg clash with the Spanish side.
West Ham face one of their biggest games in recent history when Sevilla come to the London Stadium for their Europa League last 16 second leg clash.
The tie is delicately poised. West Ham must overturn a 1-0 deficit in order to advance to the quarter-finals where they would be hard pressed to draw anyone as difficult as their Spanish opponents.
As West Ham fans know only too well by now, Sevilla are six-time winners of this competition so their pedigree is there for all to see.
While West Ham were beating in-form Aston Villa 2-1 at the weekend, Sevilla’s La Liga title challenge was killed off with a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano as Real Madrid went 10 points clear by beating Mallorca 3-0.
West Ham fans will be doing their bit tonight to make sure the London Stadium is rocking.
The Hammers must overturn a 1-0 deficit if they want to make the quarter-finals.
It will be no easy task but far from unthinkable given the quality of the opposition West Ham have already beaten in the Premier League this season.
Moyes’s task has been made all the more difficult but what looks set to be a huge double blow with Jarrod Bowen ruled out and Michail Antonio also looking highly unlikely to feature.
The Scot said yesterday that Antonio had not trained with the team and he will not risk him if he is not fully fit.
Speculation around the club suggests Aaron Cresswell will be fit to play after he also picked up a knock in the win over Villa.
That is a huge boost if true.
Predicted: David Moyes makes two changes for Sevilla after double blow but more technical West Ham could work well
It means Moyes has little choice but to start Andriy Yarmolenko as a forward.
And the Ukraine star will be one of two changes to the side which started last time out for West Ham.
He looks set to come in for Antonio. That will force West Ham to play a more technical style – as they did in the second half against Villa. And that could actually work well for West Ham because Antonio got very little joy out of the Sevilla defence last week.
The other change comes in goal with Lukasz Fabianski, who was brilliant against Villa, making way for West Ham’s Europa League and cup ‘keeper Alphonse Areola.
Yarmolenko is infinitely more technically gifted than Antonio. With the situation in his homeland right now, football will very much be a release for the forward.
Linking up with the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Said Benrahma could work well against such a well drilled Sevilla defence.
And we all know Yarmolenko can finish with that potent left foot. This will be a game of moments and in those moments quality will be needed. Yarmolenko has always had that in abundance. Let’s hope we see it tonight when it matters most.
Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Sevilla:
Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Lanzini, Fornals, Benrahma, Yarmolenko.
COME ON YOU IRONS!