West Ham United have travelled to Greece for their Europa League group stage clash with Olympiacos this evening and David Moyes could be set to make some significant changes to his starting line up.
The Hammers will need to put their heavy Premier League defeat to Aston Villa quickly behind them as they will be away from home again tonight in their meeting with Olympiacos at the Georgios Karaiskakis Football Stadium.
David Moyes will be hoping that his team can maintain their unbeaten run so far in Group A, by putting on a confident and resilient performance in Greece to further extend the gap between themselves at the top of the table and the rest of their group.
Taking another three points would put them in a really promising position to win their group and could take the pressure off the West Ham boss ahead of their Premier League clash with Everton at home on Sunday afternoon.
Olympiacos have only picked up just one point so far in their Europa League campaign and have failed to win a game in their last six fixtures on home turf, so capitalising on their poor form at home will be absolutely essential for West Ham.
In terms of injuries, Moyes has confirmed that the side will be without Vladimir Coufal as the experienced and on-form full-back didn’t make the trip to Athens.
“He was just a bit tight so I left him at home,” the Hammers boss revealed, however, there is no indication of the timeframe of his absence beyond tonight’s fixture.
The Scotsman also gave an update on Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell, both of whom could make an appearance if needed this evening:
“Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson are both here. Johnson is probably a bit further ahead of Cressy at the moment but, if required, they’re both able to play.”
How could West Ham line up vs Olympiacos?
We predict that Moyes will make six changes to the team that lost 4-1 to Aston Villa last weekend, opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation in Greece…
In the defensive set up we expect to see three changes with Konstantinos Mavropanos, Thilo Kehrer and Lukasz Fabinaski joining Kurt Zouma and Emerson in the starting line-up.
In midfield we predict there will be a reshuffle with Tomas Soucek and James Ward-Prowse both retaining their spot in the centre of the pitch, however, Soucek will move into a two with the former Southampton star and instead, Mohammed Kudus will be deployed in the attacking midfield role.
In the attacking threat, we predict another two changes with Said Benrahma replacing Lucas Paqueta and Danny Ings freshening up the centre-forward role in place of Michail Antonio, whilst Jarrod Bowen retains his role on the right wing.
Ultimately, Moyes will have the luxury to completely refresh his midfield and forward line so it would be no surprise to see many changes and many fringe players getting the opportunity to stake their claim to regular starting spots, especially after the humiliating defeat at Villa Park.