Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United can get back up to eighth place in the Premier League table tomorrow afternoon if they can pick up three points on their travels at Selhurst Park, against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.
The Hammers go into the match looking to end a run of four of four successive defeats away from home, but with key players such as Marko Arnautovic starting to return from injury, how will they line up for the London derby? Find out as we predict West Ham’s starting Xl in our analysis.
GK: Lukasz Fabianski
There are no doubts over who will be starting between the sticks for the East Londoners at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, Polish international Lukasz Fabianski. Despite his season-long heroics in his first season at the club, he has only collected four clean sheets. Can he make it five in south London?
RB: Ryan Fredericks
At right-back in a back-four in front of Fabianski is set to be, for the second successive league match, another summer signing in Ryan Fredericks. The pacey defender only made his comeback from injury late last month but seems to have leapfrogged Pablo Zabaleta in Pellegrini’s pecking order. He will be hoping for a display akin to his in Monday night’s draw with Liverpool.
RCB: Issa Diop
To the right of Fredericks and occupying one of the centre-back positions for the Irons, as has been the case since the third match of the campaign in the PL, will be young French star Issa Diop. It appears that he is finally starting to gel with new partner Angelo Ogbonna and the pair will be going for their second clean sheet together in Selhurst.
LCB: Angelo Ogbonna
In the regular starting Xl since the severe knee injury suffered by Fabian Balbuena in the 0-2 defeat to Watford on December 22 2018, former Italy international Angelo Ogbonna is in for another start on Saturday. He’s only six appearances away from 100 in the top-flight but will need some impressive performances this month if he’s to stay ahead of Balbuena when he returns in a few weeks.
LB: Aaron Cresswell
Aaron Cresswell celebrated the accolade of 150 Premier League appearances four days ago in the impressive draw with the then-league-leaders and there’s very little to suggest he won’t make his 151st in less than 24 hours. Two seasons ago, he received his one and only red card at this level in this fixture, will he exercise those demons?
RCDM: Declan Rice
20-year-old Declan Rice is one of the first names on the West Ham teamsheet nowadays and a wonderful display against the Reds will have done nothing to change that. He came close to scoring in back-to-back home games in that match and wouldn’t mind a second goal at senior level against the Eagles, that’s for sure.
LCDM: Mark Noble (C)
Partnering “the future captain of West Ham United” in central defensive midfield will be the current club captain Mark Noble. The skipper has looked a rejuvenated figure under the reign of Pellegrini and was another to miss a guilt-edged chance that could have won his boyhood club the game on Monday.
RAM: Michail Antonio
As we move into the more attacking area of our predicted starting Xl, we find the goalscorer from the Liverpool stalemate, Michail Antonio. The last time he scored, in early December, he followed the strike in a win over Cardiff City with a goal at Fulham in his next appearance. Will it be back-to-back strikes once again for the ex-England man?
CAM: Robert Snodgrass
Figuring in a new central attacking midfield role is more than likely to be Robert Snodgrass, who found himself back in the starting team in the loss to Wolves at the end of January, after two games out. The veteran will be eager to not get dropped again and up his game, with many attacking options set to return from injury in the near future.
LAM: Felipe Anderson
When discussing the first names on the teamsheet, Felipe Anderson is another man that falls into the bracket, less than a year after his club-record move from Lazio. The last time West Ham won an away match on December 29, Anderson scored a double and should he do the same at Selhurst Park, will be on an eye-catching 11 for the season.
ST: Javier Hernandez
Had he not performed so well when the Hammers needed him to at the start of the week, many would be predicting the fit-again Arnautovic to replace Javier Hernandez for this match. However, Chicharito is set to keep his place as the lone striker and will be out to score in back-to-back Crystal Palace clashes.
Pellegrini is very much expected to stick with the same 4-2-3-1 formation that earnt his team a much-needed point and confidence boost against the Merseysiders. The system failed for him dramatically at the start of the season, therefore, it will be interesting to see how it fares up against the preferred 4-4-2 of Hodgson and his Eagles.
So, now that you’ve heard our predicted West Ham starting Xl for their Premier League trip to 14th-placed Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon in today’s analysis. All that’s left to do is wait and see how the Hammers line up at Selhurst Park in their bid for a fourth win in five on the ground.
Full-time Staff Writer for the Ronnie Dog Media Group, regularly edit and write articles on FBH, follow me on Twitter.