Thin West Ham Predicted XI to Face Off With Chelsea

West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek. (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek. (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

With the marquee match of the day, West Ham travel to Stamford Bridge with a thin team to face Chelsea. Here is the predicted XI and bench.

A Monday match under the lights at Stamford Bridge awaits West Ham and Chelsea, with both teams vying for continued climbing of the table. For West Ham, this means strong performances against the Premier League’s elite. For Chelsea, this means looking for their first win against a top-half team this season.

What bodes well for Chelsea is the miniature injury crisis the Hammers are currently going through at the moment. Fabian Balbuena, who missed the Crystal Palace match, and Aaron Cresswell who picked up an ankle injury, and staple right-winger Jarrod Bowen are all questionable and game-time decisions.

To compound issues, Michail Antonio is confirmed to be out of selection for this match too, which he personally was targeting to return in. The hamstring injury will give way to Sebastien Haller to start again after his stunning overhead kick to level the match against Crystal Palace.

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Here is the predicted team to take on Chelsea:

Coufal – Diop – Ogbonna – Cresswell – Johnson
Rice – Soucek
Bowen – Haller – Benrahma

Bench: Randolph, Dawson, Balbuena, Noble, Snodgrass, Fornals, Yarmolenko

With Arthur Masuaku out until the new year and Cresswell labouring with a tentative ankle injury, the best medicine on the left side will be to send Cresswell back to his centre-back spot and rely on the dual-footed Ben Johnson to step in at left-wingback. This also limits the running Cresswell would be doing and adds extra defensive help to fend off Chelsea’s attack.

Pablo Fornals is axed from the starting lineup in this formation as well. If David Moyes decides to stick with his 4-2-3-1 formation he’ll be in the #10 role, but should defensive cover be (rightfully) opted for, he loses out after a few poor performances.

Manuel Lanzini‘s health would see this predicted lineup stay a 4-2-3-1 however a hamstring injury will force him to miss this match. His wonder goal against Spurs and beautiful layoff to Vladimir Coufal who crossed to Haller against Palace was an example of his terrific showings despite limited action this season; he was destined to start in this match.

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Overall, this team can grind out a result at Stamford Bridge, and based on their past two consecutive wins against Chelsea, Moyes’ men should be looking to take all three points. Chelsea is defensively porous and this West Ham team can strike with speed and lethality.