What to Watch For: West Ham United vs Crystal Palace

David Moyes, West Ham. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
David Moyes, West Ham. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

West Ham United hosts Crystal Palace at London Stadium mid-week in a London derby in the Premier League.

The thick and fast Holiday scheduling gets started for the Hammers in this match between two London clubs separated by just three points in the table.  Here are things to watch for in Matchweek 13.

Will it be 3 at the back, or 2

With Arthur Masuaku undergoing knee surgery which will keep him out an extended period of time, Moyes scrapped the successful 3-4-3 (5-4-1) in favour of the two at the back 4-2-3-1 formation vs Leeds.

He got a result with it, which is a good thing of course. The Irons now appear to have a good plan A and plan B.

The squad feels to be built more for three at the back. Perhaps Pablo Fornals goes in as Wing Back for Masuaku and Said Benrahma stays in the line up at left wing.

Or, as Moyes more often plays it: No changes to a winning side.

Squad Rotations During the Holiday Period

West Ham United play three matches in the next 12 days. With an already paper-thin squad now dealing with injuries to two starters in Michail Antonio and Masuaku, this is a prime opportunity for David Moyes to rotate the squad the best he can.

And it largely depends on what he decides to do with the formation and his intent.

Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble have been late-game subs and could get starts or longer relief cameos.  Robert Snodgrass has been on the bench but has not featured and could provide cover in midfield or wingback.

Ben Johnson is another player getting some minutes as a sub recently. He could slot in for one of these matches to give Vladimir Coufal a rest. Or possibly as that left-sided wingback.

Issa Diop has been MIA since dealing with COVID19. But would he likely start at Center Back, or as recent reports state, as a Center Forward in place of Sebastian Haller?

Just how comfortable Moyes is with giving extended minutes to any of these players remains to be seen. Chelsea is at the top of the table and figures to get the Hammers best line up. So this match vs Palace and the one following Chelsea vs Brighton are the best options for rotation.

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Feast or Famine from Palace

WHU has shown it’s a side that can score goals.  Crystal Palace tends to be a club that is feast or famine in the goal-scoring department.

The Eagles have scored 10 goals in their last 5 matches. But they bagged 4 vs Leeds and 5 vs West Brom. In the other three, they been shut out twice and managed one vs Spurs to earn the draw last time out.

That type of inconsistency should bode well for the Hammers here. Their defence has been drilled into shape by Moyes and is led by Lucas Fabianski and Angelo Ogbanna. With a big assist week in and out from Declan Rice.

Those three need to lead the charge again to keep Wilfried Zaha off the score sheet. If they can do that, it will be a large part of the Irons winning formula. Zaha has 7 goals on the season. Palace’s next leading scorer is Christian Benteke with 2.

Meanwhile, the Hammers attack is much more consistent throughout the squad.

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Where to Watch

West Ham vs Crystal Palace TV Coverage   UK: Amazon Prime   USA: Peacock     CAN: DAZN

AUS: Optus Sport CHN: QQ Sports Live MEX: Sky HD  UAE: BeIn Sports HD2