West Ham United will be looking to continue their flawless start to the Europa Conference League group stage with a win against Anderlecht this evening.
The Hammers have struggled to translate their continental form to the Premier League, but will take great delight from a welcome win against Wolves last weekend, which hoisted them out of the relegation zone.
David Moyes’ side will now look to build on that result with a confidence-enhancing victory over the Belgian outfit later.
Speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference, Moyes issued an update on the fitness of his squad, with what made for a positive admission overall.
The 59-year-old said: “Everybody has travelled except for Maxi Cornet, who has a little bit of a calf strain.”
Prompted to answer more in depth, Moyes stated: “It was difficult because we want to get Maxi up to speed. He didn’t have many pre-season games and he’s contributed in quite a few of the games recently., but he’s not with us over here.”
That brings us onto the all-important predicted XI, featuring a whopping seven changes from the team which started against Wolves.
Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Emerson
Lanzini, Fornals, Benrahma
With Anderlecht expected to deploy a 3-5-2 shape, Moyes will likely opt for five in midfield, with the likes of Craig Dawson, Kurt Zouma, Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek the only four West Ham players to retain their starting berths from the win over Wolves.
The first of the seven changes sees Alphonse Areola taking the reins in goal, having started both group stage matches so far.
In the full-back positions, Vladimir Coufal could start on the right in place of Thilo Kehrer, having sat out the Wolves game. On the left, Aaron Cresswell may get a rest whilst Emerson Palmieri gets a runout, having had just 16 minutes off the bench last weekend.
Further forward, while the central midfield duo remains a constant, it’s all change in front of Rice and Soucek.
Jarrod Bowen should get a well-earned rest to focus on Sunday’s clash against Fulham, with Manuel Lanzini expected to take his place. Lucas Paqueta is expected to get the same treatment as Bowen, with Pablo Fornals set to start at number 10.
Meanwhile, the calf injury that Maxwel Cornet sustained last time out means that £58k-per-week Said Benrahma – dubbed a “magician” by West Ham ambassador Bobby Seagull on Twitter – will likely get a runout, having been used very sparingly this season.
The seventh and final change sees Gianluca Scamacca replaced up top by Michail Antonio, who played just 24 minutes against Wolves.
The Hammers will be looking for a win to build their confidence and maintain their flawless record in Group B in what should make for an intriguing clash in Brussels this evening.