Back to Basics in West Ham Predicted XI Against Palace

West Ham attacker Pablo Fornals. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
West Ham attacker Pablo Fornals. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images) /

David Moyes is nothing if not consistent with West Ham. His team should be rather predictable and straightforward after a convincingly close win last week.

Could you blame David Moyes for naming the same team in the same formation after winning in the fashion his West Ham team did against Leeds United? The scoreline suggested the match was very close, with Angelo Ogbonna’s 80th-minute winner, but Hammers controlled play and had a plethora of untaken and missed chances that made the scoreline flatter the promotion side.

You never should change a winning team, but there is reason to believe David Moyes may get cute with his team selection as the holiday period kicks off in the Premier League. A compact schedule could see unwarranted changes in the starting XI for no other reason than rotation and rest for his usual starters.

That being said, this is the predicted team to take on Crystal Palace:

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Coufal – Balbuena – Ogbonna – Cresswell
Rice – Soucek
Bowen – Fornals – Benrahma

Bench: Randolph, Diop, Fredericks, Johnson, Noble, Lanzini, Yarmolenko

The very same team that took down Leeds should be deployed against Crystal Palace and it should be defensively solid enough to stop the unpredictable and hot-and-cold Eagles front line. Vladimir Coufal will have his hands full with marking Wilfred Zaha, first and foremost, but extra defensive coverage should help bail him out with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, as well as Jarrod Bowen tracking back.

Outside of that matchup, Sebastien Haller needs to prove he can break down defenders and get attempts on net, let alone score goals. Palace have a strong backline, sure, but Haller has European-proven quality and has had solid service since taking up the mantle of starting striker.

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This match will be competitive but it could also be lopsided if West Ham play their game. A good showing against Leeds after a disappointing loss to Manchester United showed this group has grit and perseverance, now is the time to show quality on top of that.