West Ham United have made the worst possible start to their league campaign under Manuel Pellegrini. The Hammers have lost each of their first four games, conceding 10 goals in this time, to now remain rock bottom of the points table. They would want to get back to winning ways after the international break but face a tricky trip to Goodison Park this weekend.
Marco Silva’s Everton, currently hit with a major injury crisis, remain one of the very few teams unbeaten in the competition. However, they have won just one of their games and playing at home, would settle for nothing less than three points. Pellegrini would have to set up a strong side with decent balance if they are to take anything from this game. Here is the predicted lineup the Hammers might field for this tie:
In early team news, the Hammers would be without the services of Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid, all of whom are long-term absentees. Arthur Masuaku is back to full fitness and should be available for selection this weekend while Javier Hernandez might miss out with a virus. Jack Wilshere is ruled out for this game with an ankle injury leaving Pellegrini a bit short of midfielders.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Lukasz Fabianski has not been at his best but he has not been helped by West Ham’s backline. He will hope to get more help from his teammates and will look to put in a strong performance this weekend. Issa Diop is yet to show his strengths in London but could get another chance at Merseyside in this game. He should be partnered with Fabian Balbuena, who has been impressive in bits, in the first few games.
Arthur Masuaku has been West Ham’s most effective player, playing at left-back. He missed the last game against Wolves but is now fit and should replace Aaron Creswell at the back. Ryan Fredericks has been the preferred right back for Pellegrini and he should complete the back line for West Ham in this game.
With Wilshere doubtful, Mark Noble might get another chance in the first team, after being dropped to the bench in the recent games. He has Carlos Sanchez to help him in the middle of the park. The 32-year old seems a good fit for the style of play in England and could trouble the Everton midfield in this game.
With Hernandez sidelined, Marko Arnautovic will continue to lead the line for West Ham. Felipe Anderson has created chances galore this season and would look to test the Everton backline with his pace.
Michail Antonio has also been a regular in the first team under Pellegrini and should start on the left flank while Robert Snodgrass will add some width to the attack on the right flank.
Here is how they might line up:
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