West Ham United boss David Moyes looks set to make four changes for the big Europa League clash with Dinamo Zagreb.
West Ham kick off their European campaign in Croatia at 5.45pm.
Hammers fans have been debating whether to go strong with team selection or field a much-changed side with one eye on Sunday’s Premier League game against Manchester United.
Moyes has also been talking in the build-up to the game about the need to balance his team selections between Europe and the Premier League. The Scot also pointed out he wanted to give the players who got West Ham into Europe the chance to play on that stage.
“I think the boys who played last year did an incredible job to get us here, so they need a little bit of an opportunity to show that, but I’ve not brought in players just to stand back and watch,” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference (whufc.com).
“We’ve got six games in this tournament so as it goes on I’ll know better by the end of it, but probably in the early days I’ll be trying to find the right team at the right time to fit in with the Premier League fixtures we’ve got as well.”
Michail Antonio would likely have been rested for the Zagreb game. But his sending off at Southampton has likely changed Moyes’s approach given he will now miss Sunday’s game against the Red Devils.
Moyes does look set to make four changes elsewhere in the side, though.
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola looks set to make his Hammers bow replacing Lukasz Fabianski.
In central defence Kurt Zouma and Issa Diop look set to come in for Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson.
And Said Benrahma will drop to the bench with new £33 million signing Nikola Vlasic starting in his place.
Moyes is likely pondering another two changes to rest Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen. But he may well resist in light of his pre-match comments.
Here’s how we expect Moyes to line-up and despite the changes, West Ham look strong with three debuts adding extra interest.
Predicted West Ham starting XI to face Dinamo Zagreb:
Areola, Coufal, Zouma, Diop, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Bowen, Vlasic, Antonio.