West Ham resume their Premier League campaign on Boxing Day when they make the short trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.
The Hammers endured a tough first half of the season and currently lie 16th in the table, just a point above the relegation zone. They had lost three consecutive games before the World Cup break which put David Moyes in a spot of bother.
Moyes will want to get West Ham’s season back on track but face a stellar test on their resumption against Arsenal, who hold a five-point lead at the top of the table.
West Ham Team News
West Ham have been handed a real injury blow ahead of their trip to Arsenal, with Gianluca Scamacca sustaining an ankle injury in the mid-season friendly against Fulham last week. The Italian striker is a major doubt for the game against Arsenal.
Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell are already out injured, while Kurt Zouma hasn’t featured since having knee surgery in November. Maxwel Cornet is still recovering from a calf injury and looks unlikely to play again this year.
Nayef Aguerd picked up a groin problem while away on World Cup duty with Morocco, leaving Moyes with a depleted squad to travel with to Arsenal.
Predicted West Ham Lineup vs Arsenal (3-4-3)
Lukasz Fabianski has been West Ham’s undisputed No.1 in recent years, and the Pole should start in goal against Arsenal.
Due to limited defensive options available at his disposal, David Moyes could go with a three-man backline at the Emirates Stadium. Thilo Kehrer, Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna could form the back three for the Hammers, and the trio will need to be focused throughout the 90 minutes to keep an exciting Arsenal attack quiet.
Dawson will be in the centre of the three-man defence, with Kehrer and Ogbonna lining up on either side of the experienced Englishman.
Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek must hold the midfield for West Ham. With Rice reprising his No.6 role, Soucek will get opportunities to bomb forward and make himself a nuisance for the Arsenal defenders in the box.
Vladimir Coufal and Emerson Palmieri will operate as the wing-backs, hoping to provide defensive security to the team as well as impetus going forward.
As Gianluca Scamacca is a major doubt and Michail Antonio remains out injured, Moyes could deploy Jarrod Bowen in the false 9 role against Arsenal. With Bowen going through the middle, Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma will be tasked with providing creativity and runs in behind the Arsenal defence.
Flynn Downes, Manuel Lanzini and Lucas Paqueta could get opportunities to impact the game off the bench.