West Ham United travel to Bucharest to take on FCSB in their final Europa Conference League group stage game this evening.
Having already secured their place in the next round, finishing Group B as winners, manager David Moyes has indicated that he will make a host of changes for what is now a dead-rubber game.
“The biggest motivation for us is that we’ve won the group and we now need to finish it off,” he said. “We’re going to give some of the younger players an opportunity in the game. We’ve left the bulk of the players back home and we’re looking forward to the game.
“There are still a lot of senior players involved and they all want to be playing, so hopefully we can go to FCSB and get that sixth victory.”
Here is the side that Moyes could line up with this evening, making ten changes to his side from the weekend.
Lukasz Fabianski suffered a knock against Manchester United that caused him to be withdrawn at half-time, and he is now said to be a doubt for the game against Crystal Palace on Saturday, meaning Alphonse Areola will keep his spot between the sticks, having started all five previous group games.
Emerson has had to settle for five appearances in the Europa Conference League so far this season too, with the 28-year-old summer signing failing to dislodge Aaron Cresswell at left-back in the Premier League, and he is likely to play the full 90 minutes, as he did against Silkeborg, with Ben Johnson set to feature on the opposite side of a four-man defence.
Nayef Aguerd made his competitive debut for the Hammers in the Conference League last week, and his manager will want to get him back up to speed after undergoing ankle surgery, with the Moroccan likely to accompany bit-part player Angelo Ogbonna in the centre of defence.
With the 59-year-old boss confirming that he is going to integrate some younger players in the team, Keenan Appiah-Forson, 21, could be in line to make his debut for the club as part of a midfield three, having been named on the bench against Silkeborg, where he may accompany Conor Coventry, with Moyes recently stating “Conor is a good player and it has been difficult to get him some minutes”.
Pablo Fornals is also another potential option in midfield, with the 26-year-old providing some experience in the middle of the pitch, having featured for 67 minutes in his side’s last Conference League outing.
Players who have not managed to start as regularly as they would have liked to in the Premier League will have the chance to prove themselves up front, such as Michail Antonio, who has often had to settle for a place on the bench since the arrival of Gianluca Scamacca, but the £27m-rated Italian has not impressed, being labelled “underwhelming” by journalist Roshane Thomas.
The Jamaica international may well start in the centre of a three-pronged attack, with Manuel Lanzini and Said Benrahma offering support from either flank.
West Ham predicted XI vs FCSB: Areola; Johnson, Aguerd, Ogbonna, Emerson; Coventry, Fornals, Appiah-Forson; Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio