David Moyes is pondering one big West Ham change for Crystal Palace as Covid uncertainty looms ahead of the London derby.
The Hammers got their season back on track with a 4-1 win at Watford last time out.
And they face an in-form Palace side at Selhurst Park in the first match of 2022, which is live on Sky Sports.
They say never change a winning team.
But West Ham appeared to drop a worrying team news hint yesterday ahead of the Crystal Palace clash.
West Ham’s official website appears to have dropped a worrying team news hint saying that Moyes “could be without several players” amid growing Covid uncertainty.
So Moyes may have no choice but to change a winning team.
Pablo Fornals missed West Ham’s win at Watford due to a positive Covid test.
But having played against Southampton two days before, more players may yet be affected. The game against Palace comes too soon for Fornals with the seven-day isolation requirements.
The Covid situation means predicting a team is next to impossible.
Predicted line-up: David Moyes pondering one big West Ham change for Crystal Palace as Covid uncertainty looms
Aaron Cresswell is not expected to return to action just yet. So Ben Johnson will continue at left-back.
Declan Rice will be the obvious change as he comes in for Mark Noble after serving a one game ban at Watford.
The rest of the team should remain intact if not impacted by Covid. But Moyes could well ponder one big change from the side which started at Vicarage Road.
Nikola Vlasic has impressed in recent performances and got his first West Ham goal last time out.
Said Benrahma has scored two in two but has blown hot and cold in general play.
So Moyes may consider bringing Vlasic in from the start in Benrahma’s place.
But there have been several occasions when the Scot has been expected to leave Benrahma out only for the Algerian to start.
So while the Hammers boss may be pondering that change, expect him to stick to the side which saw off Watford – bar Rice coming back in – if he does not have any more Covid absentees.
Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Watford:
Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Johnson, Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Benrahma, Bowen, Antonio.