What a horrible season it has been for West Ham United so far. Just when they were expected to do big things and take the next step forward, Slaven Bilic’s side let everyone down. Literally, nothing has gone the Hammers’ way this season. They failed to make it to the Europa League suffering a two-legged defeat against Romanian side Astra Giurgiu and are sitting in the danger zone after six game weeks when they were expected to push on for a top four challenge.
West Ham United’s only win of the season came against Bournemouth in the second game week. The East London club have lost each of their other five Premier League fixtures and were beaten 3-0 by Southampton last weekend. Bilic’s boys have a golden opportunity to return back to winning ways when they host struggling Boro at the London Stadium on Saturday. The newly-promoted side are sitting 16th now with five points after losing their form despite a decent start.
Here is the predicted West Ham United lineup against Middlesbrough.
West Ham have conceded as many as 14 goals in their last four Premier League games which means that Slaven Bilic desperately needs to address things at the back. A possible solution is playing three at the back. West Ham occasionally lined up in a 3-4-3 formation last season and it is high time for Bilic to consider a tactical switch.
Havard Nordtveit should start at the right of the 3-man defence. Winston Reid is back from injury and should get a start as the centre of the three-man defence. Italian international Angelo Ogbonna should get the nod at the left of the 3-man defence line. Adrian will, as usual, start under the bar.
The duo of Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyaté, who worked brilliantly in the midfield last season, have been unable to replicate their form so far this campaign. The duo have failed to protect their back four on a weekly basis and deploying three at the back might change that.
The duo will line up at the heart of the midfield and will have to ensure that they control the game. Michail Antonio and Sofiane Feghouli should start on the two flanks. Their job will not be just to offer the width in attack but also to track back and help out the defence.
West Ham’s best player by some distance, Dimitri Payet, will start as the left wide forward. Simone Zaza has failed to deliver until this point since he joined West Ham on loan from Juventus but will keep his place up front with Andy Carroll still working on his comeback from injury. Manuel Lanzini will start as the right wide forward.