West Ham host Austrian side SK Rapid Wien in the Europa League group stage on Thursday night, as the Hammers aim to extend their incredible run of form.
Following consecutive hard-fought victories over Manchester United and Leeds United last week, the Hammers go into this match brimming with confidence and hungry for another win.
A 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb put David Moyes’ side at the top of Group H, and Thursday’s opposition Rapid Wien will most likely be our weakest opponents in this year’s Europa League campaign.
Therefore, we take a look at who West Ham could field as their starting XI against them this week…
GK: Alphonse Areola
On-loan goalkeeper Alphonse Areola played exceptionally on his competitive debut against Man United last week and could be recalled after dropping back to the bench for the win over Leeds on Saturday.
RB: Vladimir Coufal
With Ryan Fredericks a possible injury doubt, Coufal looks set to start again for the Hammers in this fixture.
CB: Kurt Zouma
Despite coming up against weaker opposition in this match, Zouma has added some good defensive solidarity to the squad since joining and will most likely play on Thursday, having made his Hammers debut in the win over Dinamo Zagreb a fortnight ago.
CB: Issa Diop
In place of Ogbonna for this fixture, Diop could easily come into the side. The French international has been in great form when called upon so far this season and partners well with Zouma.
LB: Aaron Cresswell
Arthur Masuaku could be preferred here but we’re predicting Hammers left-back Aaron Cresswell to keep his spot in the starting XI, and will use his attacking mindset to cause Rapid Wien problems defensively.
CDM: Alex Kral
In place of Tomas Soucek, his Czech counterpart Alex Kral could come back into the side for this fixture. He made an impressive debut against Man United last week and won over many Hammers fans with a solid display.
CDM: Mark Noble
West Ham’s captain and club hero could well make his full Europa League Group Stage debut on Thursday. He performed excellently last week in the EFL Cup and this could be the perfect match for him.
RM: Nikola Vlasic
Arriving at West Ham slightly unsettled, Vlasic is yet to find his feet for the Hammers. That being said, Moyes could give him the chance to find his flow this fixture and show the fans what he’s made of.
CAM: Manuel Lanzini
Lanzini put in an outstanding performance against Man United in the week, scoring the only goal to hand the Hammers a historic Old Trafford victory. He also played well in the previous Europa League fixture in Zahreb and could start again here.
LM: Pablo Fornals
Midfield maestro Pablo Fornals is likely to keep his spot on the left, and will look to take advantage of Rapid Wien’s weak defence on Thursday.
ST: Michail Antonio
In-form Michail Antonio is playing incredibly right now. Six goals and three assists in his past six games has put his name on the map. Moyes will certainly start him if he’s fit and he could definitely trouble Wien’s defence.