Short Rest a Factor In West Ham’s Predicted XI vs. Fulham

West Ham manager David Moyes with Jesse Lingard. (Photo by Visionhaus)
West Ham manager David Moyes with Jesse Lingard. (Photo by Visionhaus) /

David Moyes will be hardpressed to find a better starting XI than the team that trounced Aston Villa, but will short rest factor into the team selection? It should, but not where it matters.

Against Aston Villa, West Ham clogged up the wide attack with extra-wide midfielders blocking Jack Grealish and choking out the Villians spark plug. Against Fulham, there won’t be one player who impacts the game as much as Grealish, so the threat is lessened but spread around the pitch.

Ryan Fredericks played very well at right-wing, but will Moyes sit Jarrod Bowen again for a defensive-heavy formation? Also, will Pablo Fornals somehow factor into this team? David Moyes has serious questions to answer ahead of this trip to Fulham.

The biggest question is regarding Jesse Lingard’s fitness. He hadn’t played much at Manchester United ahead of his move, but his terrific showing against Villa suggests his fitness is better than ever. Will Moyes ride the hot hand?

Here is the Jesse Lingard focused predicted West Ham starting XI and Bench to face Fulham:

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

Bench: Martin, Fredericks, Johnson, Diop, Noble, Lanzini, Fornals, Yarmolenko, Odubeko

Lingard has to be selected again after his last match, even if it is on a restricted minutes regiment to ensure he avoids injury. He was far too dominant against a much-better Aston Villa team than this Fulham squad up next.

Jarrod Bowen also draws back in, an out-and-out attacking player who can dominate a game when distributed to effectively. Lingard’s playmaking was solidly on display and he can surely ignite Bowen, firing him back into the goals up top.

Michail Antonio may be a question mark after playing midweek, but he should make the starting XI in this one. A quick start from Antonio and his flanking attackers could see an early second-half sub for Mipo Odubeko’s debut (in a perfect world). Regardless, Antonio should be treated with extreme caution in this game.

Next. What to Watch For: West Ham vs Fulham. dark

Moyes has a relatively easy and critique-free job ahead of him because keeping the same team or making some short-rest changes are both justified. West Ham are playing too well to be knocked off stride by team selection and even less-so by an underwhelming Fulham team.