Expected West Ham lineup to face Tottenham as Antonio set to return
Today is the start of the five games before the end of March that David Moyes has said are key to West Ham “holding onto the coattails of the top clubs”.
If the Hammers can do just that, that is when Moyes thinks his side can seriously consider themselves European contenders.
Tottenham Hotspur may be sitting in eighth place but they are considered one of the ‘big six’ and, like West Ham, are aiming for European football.
The two sides are currently split by six points with West Ham ahead of their visitors having played one game more than Jose Mourinho’s men.
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The Hammers got back to winning ways last week defeating bottom of the table Sheffield United 3-0, while Spurs were the latest team to fall victim to the unstoppable Manchester City by the same scoreline.
Moyes can expect to have Michail Antonio available after his recent two-game absence through injury and Fabian Balbuena is another who may come into contention following a calf strain.
If Antonio came through Saturday’s final training session unscathed he is expected to come straight back into the team.
An unfit Antonio would likely see Moyes name an unchanged XI to take on Spurs, but all indications are the 30-year-old will be fit for selection.
With that in mind here is the West Ham XI we at football.london expect to see in a 5-4-1 formation:
On paper, this would look like a five-man backline but only in defence. With The Hammers in possession, this would turn into more of a 3-4-3 with Bowen and Lingard pushing forward to support Antonio. Ben Johnson and Vladimir Coufal would once again provide the attacking width.
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Manuel Lanzini would be the unfortunate player to drop out from the victory over Sheffield United. but the option to start Antonio will be too great for Moyes to ignore.
The manager could opt to make two changes and recall Said Benrahma in place of Johnson and return to his 4-2-3-1 formation. But after Johnson’s fine recent performances and the added security three centre-backs provide against the threat of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, the 21-year-old can expect to keep his place in the team.
The fact that West Ham’s formation is open for debate and Moyes will either have to change a winning team or leave his main striker Antonio on the bench, just shows the excellent range of options the Hammers currently have..