West Ham United take on Fulham in a clash which will say a lot about how far – or not – the Hammers have come under David Moyes.
West Ham welcome a Fulham side fresh from their maiden victory of the season – a 2-0 triumph over former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic’s West Brom – to the London Stadium.
The Cottagers have been steadily improving and were deserved winners over the Baggies.
West Ham meanwhile have defied all predictions by picking up eight points from one of the most daunting set of fixtures ever handed to a Premier League team at the start of a season.
West Ham’s solid foundation can become a great start
In reality that is at least two less than they truly deserve.
It may not sound much. But coupled with a positive goal difference and a run of much easier fixtures – on paper at least – it sets West Ham up for what could be a very successful campaign.
Now Moyes must tackle an age old West Ham problem. They have proved they can get up for the games against top opposition.
But can the Hammers maintain those levels for matches against the likes of Fulham?
Despite being in the running for player of the month, some West Ham fans are calling for Pablo Fornals to be dropped and replaced by exciting new signing Said Benrahma.
Moyes will resist those calls. Fornals has been West Ham’s most creative, effective and hardest working player so far this season.
Moyes will resist Benrahma calls but plenty for fans to be excited about
And the Scot made it clear in his pre-match press conference that Benrahma will be integrated slowly as he builds up his fitness.
Sebastien Haller will get another chance up front despite some suggestions Moyes could turn to Andriy Yarmolenko.
There were concerns the Hammers boss may be forced into one change with Aaron Cresswell picking up a groin strain against Liverpool.
But Cresswell is fit and available.
Despite Benrahma being consigned to a bench role again, West Ham fans should be excited.
There is the very real prospect that Moyes will give him more time against Fulham.
And having been forced to set up very defensively during the difficult run of games to start the season, Moyes will also unleash Tomas Soucek once again.
More minutes for new boy and the shackles off for Soucek and co
Soucek has been an immense goal threat throughout his career. That continued at West Ham as he played a key role in keeping the club up last term.
But the Czech international has had his wings clipped to help make sure West Ham were difficult to break down in recent weeks.
That will change against Fulham as Moyes takes the shackles off him, Arthur Masuaku and Vladimir Coufal with the Hammers knowing they must now take the game to the opposition.
Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Fulham:
Fabianski, Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Bowen, Haller.