West Ham team news & predicted XI vs Newcastle

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West Ham United will head to the North East for their Premier League clash with Newcastle United in the early kick-off, and David Moyes could be set to make changes.

The Hammers will be keen to extend their four-point gap over their opponents and rivals for a European qualification spot today at St James’ Park, which will be a good test of the form they find themselves in following the international break.

A victory away from home this afternoon would put West Ham on the same points as fifth-place Manchester United ahead of their 8pm clash with Brentford at the Community Stadium.

In terms of injuries, Moyes has a few first-team fitness issues to sweat over on his trip up North as Mohammed Kudus missed out on Ghana’s international fixtures due to a knee injury, but after being subjected to a late fitness trip should be available for selection.

In his pre-match press conference yesterday, the Scottish manager also gave an update on the availability of Maxwel Cornet who has been recovering from a thigh injury:

“Maxi is back in training. He’s been back out there for a few days, so he’s certainly in and around it. I don’t know if he’s fully match fit or quite ready yet, but he’s getting there.”

Moyes also claimed there were doubts over whether Lucas Paqueta and Nayef Aguerd will be available for selection:

“We’ve just got question marks over Nayef and Lucas. They’ve only recently returned, and we’re just keeping an eye on them to see how they are.”

Whilst many of Moyes’ fitness doubts could potentially start today, Edson Alvarez will definitely not be available for the clash with Newcastle as he is serving a suspension for collecting 10 yellow card bookings.

How could West Ham line up vs Newcastle?

We predict that Moyes will make two changes to the starting eleven that drew with Aston Villa before the international break and will switch up the 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 formation to exploit Newcastle’s defensive weaknesses.

We expect to see no changes in the defensive set up with Alphonse Areola in goal, while Vladimir Coufal, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Kurt Zouma, and Emerson will make up the back four looking to stop any Newcastle attacks in their tracks.

It is in the centre of the pitch that we predict the two changes will take place, with Kalvin Phillips coming in alongside Tomas Soucek to replace a suspended Alvarez.

The second change we expect to see is James Ward-Prowse reprising his role in the central midfield role to complete the formation change, with Michail Antonio dropping too the bench to make way for an extra midfielder.

In the final third, we predict that Jarrod Bowen will lead the line in the absence of Antonio, whilst Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus will keep their spot with roles in the wider forward positions.

With that being said, there is a real opportunity here for West Ham to distance themselves from those below them in the race for the European qualifying spot in sixth.

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