LINEUPS AND BENCH
West Ham United look to instantly recover from their ugly FA Cup exit, when they jump back into the Premier League with another important London Derby against Crystal Palace.
The Hammers are not only close with Crystal Palace in physical proximity, but are facing another side separated by just one point in the league table. David Moyes knows that despite the decent league form and being in 11th place that West Ham are still part of a ten team group thinking about avoiding a relegation fight. Only four points separate them for 18th place Southampton, and with improving Swansea City and talented West Brom prompting up the table, there is no time for slumps.
But slumps could easily happen for West Ham, with the usual injury issues always surrounding the club deluging right now. Almost half of the first team squad are out and unavailable, as Arthur Masuaku’s spitting vs Wigan on Saturday leads to him starting his six match suspension.
Masuaku’s absence is consolidated by the lengthy injury list: Andy Carroll, Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini, Marko Antonio, Andre Ayew, Pedro Obiang and Winston Reid are all out. But in one rare piece of good injury news, captain Mark Noble is actually back in the starting lineup.
For Roy Hodgson rejuvenated Crystal Palace, they have recovered remarkably from an all-time disastrous start to be mid-table. They will be without the services of Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Jeffrey Schlupp, Connor Wickham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. But Mamadou Sakho, Joel Ward and Yohan Cabaye are all back.
Can Moyes and his men be able to overcome all these injuries and get a good performance leading to at least a draw? Or will Palace much more healthy side be too tough to deal with?
Find out next.