Don’t Reinvent the Wheel; West Ham Predicted XI vs. Baggies

West Ham players Tomas Soucek, Aaron Cresswell, Said Benrahma, and Vladimir Coufal. (Photo by Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images)
West Ham players Tomas Soucek, Aaron Cresswell, Said Benrahma, and Vladimir Coufal. (Photo by Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images) /

A string of solid success for West Ham leaves the starting XI rather predictable. This isn’t a bad thing, however, as manager David Moyes can now look to tactics to up his team’s performance against Sam Allardyce’s West Brom.

On short rest, the biggest question in this match is IF Michail Antonio will play and how long of a leash the lone senior striker will have in this game. The only support at centre-forward for Antonio is Mipo Odubeko, a player primed to get his Premier League debut but lacking any serious senior experience.

While all reports suggest Odubeko is excelling in first-team training and impressing manager David Moyes, there is a fairly large risk in starting the striker should Antonio not be ready to go. The Hammers need to take all three points in this match to continue the hunt for European football, is it fair or logical to rely on a teenager to do so?

The other question mark is whether Said Benrahma will start. Moyes, when asked about Benrahma, had some interesting remarks casting slight doubt on his trust in the player thus far into the season.

Here is the West Ham predicted XI to take on West Brom. Spoiler, Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma start!

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

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

The same starting XI should be trotted out to face Allardyce’s team, with all the onus on them to take the game to the visitors. This team is not only attacking with four players who want to score goals, but it is balanced with a strong spine in Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice protecting Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson.

The commitment that has been shown by the players in recent weeks to cover back defensively as a unit and then push forward together has been key to inspiring the tough defensive shape that the opposition cannot break down.

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Players like Benrahma, Pablo Fornals, and Jarrod Bowen have all been instrumental in coming deeper to force turnovers with extra pressure. With little to no tweaking to the starting XI Moyes should be focusing more on developing these tactics to smash West Brom and keep climbing the table.