Hammers boss David Moyes makes two big changes as West Ham go strong for Nottingham Forest in our predicted line-up.
West Ham face Forest in their first away game of the new season on Sunday.
And there is already a bit of needle brewing between the Hammers and newly-promoted Forest off the back of the Jesse Lingard saga.
Both West Ham and Forest got the season off to a bad start with equally lacklustre performances in 2-0 defeats to Man City and Newcastle respectively.
Steve Cooper has signed almost an entirely new team since Forest were promoted and has now added Emmanuel Dennis to his ranks after Moyes reportedly snubbed the forward following his notoriously thorough background checks.
West Ham boss Moyes is in the middle of a sizeable rebuild himself with five signings and likely another three or four needed before the window closes.
The Hammers know they will have to be much better to get off the mark for the season when they face a pumped up City Ground crowd relishing their first home game back in the top flight.
Moyes delivered a huge quadruple West Ham boost for Forest in his pre-match press conference.
That included positive updates on defender Craig Dawson and attackers Michail Antonio, Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet.
Antonio and Dawson are recovering from a knock and an injury respectively while Scamacca and Cornet were said to need some more training to get up to speed.
Moyes says Antonio is fine and both Scamacca and Cornet are ready to start if called upon. The Scot also said Dawson is doing well.
But it is one thing listening to Moyes’ press conference comments and predicting what team he will field against Forest.
Talk in West Ham circles is that Lukasz Fabianski, who Moyes has reiterated starts the season as his number one, will be fit after his injury against Man City.
Predicted line-up: David Moyes makes two big changes as West Ham go strong for Nottingham Forest
Given Dawson played through injury for much of last season, we are going to work on the assumption that he will return.
Moyes has also hinted Scamacca may have to bide his time until he gets a start after waxing lyrical about Antonio.
So we think Moyes makes two big changes as West Ham go strong for Forest.
Dawson comes back in at centre-back in place of Ben Johnson.
And Cornet gets his first start in place of Manuel Lanzini, who won an unwelcome award after a statistically atrocious display during the 57 minutes before he was hooked against Man City.
Pablo Fornals will take Lanzini’s place in a more central role with Cornet out on the left.
We think Antonio will start up front with Scamacca coming on in the second half.
Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Forest:
Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Bowen, Cornet, Antonio.