Guessing Moyes West Ham Squad Against Underrated Southampton Side

Jarrod Bowen of West Ham. (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images)
Jarrod Bowen of West Ham. (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images) /

With solid players being left out and underperforming players repeatedly getting selected, guessing Moyes West Ham XI to face the Saints is impossible.

David Moyes has made the job of weekly squad guesser a next to impossible job. With the Christmas schedule impacting players’ fitness as an added variable, the impossible has been multiplied exponentially.

With Southampton awaiting the Hammers’ arrival at St. Mary’s Stadium, will it be a small yet fast and dynamic Hammers team to face off against the Saints, or will a more predictable and stable starting XI be named by David Moyes?

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Here is the *most likely* team to be named against Southampton:

Coufal – Balbuena – Ogbonna – Johnson
Rice – Soucek
Lanzini – Fornals – Benrahma

Bench: Randolph, Fredericks, Cresswell, Diop, Noble, Snodgrass, Antonio, Yarmolenko, Haller

How about that for a predicted team? Moyes was self-admittedly wrong in his team selection against Brighton, respecting their offensive output much more than he should have. He also stated that the team lacked pace so to remedy this, why not fire out your best four-man attack (Antonio aside) with speed and creativity as the main linking features?

Jarrod Bowen as an isolated striker would be a loss in the size column, but with Jan Vestergaard out for the match, Bowen would no longer fear the size of the Saints’ backline. As well, his position would likely be rotational with Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals, and Said Benrahma all rotating in centrally to support.

The other large decision this team forces Moyes to make is two-fold: leaving the five-at-the-back system behind and sitting Aaron Cresswell for a match. If the team is playing two centre-backs, Cresswell can no longer be the left-back so, Johnson’s start makes sense there. As well, his speed upgrade over Cresswell could prove the difference at both ends of the pitch.

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In the end, there is absolutely no knowing the team Moyes will select for this match. It is safe to assume, however, that he will choose speed over size after disappointing against Brighton, but will a four-man attack of smaller, quicker players actually get selected? Tick-tock, Moysey!