Desperate to return to winning ways in the Premier League, West Ham United will welcome Nottingham Forest to the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
West Ham United secured a morale-boosting Europa League victory in midweek and will hope to translate that into the Premier League when they welcome Nottingham Forest to the London Stadium on Sunday.
It was by no means a convincing West Ham victory over Olympiacos on Thursday night. Lucas Paqueta scored the only goal of the game to all but guarantee the Irons’ participation in some form of European football in 2024.
David Moyes’s side will now return to Premier League action and will now be looking to grab their first domestic top-flight victory since September. It has been a depressing sight for the capital side in the English top flight, suffering three consecutive defeats.
While losing to a high-flying Aston Villa could be excused, a disappointing home defeat against Everton, who were struggling before, and the subsequent capitulation that led to a 3-2 loss after squandering a two-goal lead against Brentford last week have been particularly concerning. The Hammers are one place above their next opponents, Nottingham Forest, in 12th place and have a point more than Steve Cooper’s troops.
The visitors boast a very strong track record at their City Ground fortress and remain unbeaten there, notably beating an in-form Aston Villa 2-0 last time out. However, they continue to struggle on the road. Their win over Chelsea remains the only victory they’ve had away from the City Ground this season.
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— West Ham United (@WestHam) November 10, 2023
David Moyes has a near-full squad to choose from. Kurt Zouma is listed as the only doubt and will be assessed late before the game. Edson Alvarez and Lucas Paqueta have returned from suspension, and the pair should make immediate returns to the starting XI on Sunday.
If Zouma misses out again, Konstantinos Mavropanos will continue at centre-half alongside Nayef Aguerd. Moyes went almost full strength for the win over Olympiacos on Thursday, with the exception of cup goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski getting an expected appearance between the sticks; first-choice Alphonse Areola should return this Sunday.
James Ward-Prowse’s form since arriving from Southampton has translated to West Ham’s in the Premier League. After scoring twice and assisting three times in his first four games, the midfielder has gone six league games without registering a goal involvement. So the hosts will need him to be at his creative best here.
His perfectly-weighted pass to set up Lucas Paqueta in the Europa League took him up to seven assists in all competitions this season. No West Ham player has more. Bowen has been in superb form for West Ham, netting eight goals in 15 games across all competitions this season. Michail Antonio was rested on Thursday and is likely to start up front unless Moyes opts for Bowen in a more advanced role.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Areola; Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez, Ward-Prowse; Bowen, Kudus, Paqueta; Antonio
Nottingham Forest will be without no fewer than five players here. But Steve Cooper said on Friday that only Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring) is not back in training, suggesting that recent absentees Divock Origi (hip), Chris Wood (hamstring), Gonzalo Montiel (calf), and Felipe (knee) are closing in on their respective returns.
Harry Toffolo’s situation appears promising, considering he had to leave the field with a knock during Gameweek 11 against Aston Villa. Serge Aurier and Nuno Tavares will be on standby at full-back if Cooper decides not to risk his starting left-back.
— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) November 10, 2023
However, given the impressive victory over Aston Villa last weekend, it seems unlikely that the Forest manager will make too many changes unless absolutely necessary, meaning Odysseas Vlachodimos will keep his spot in between the sticks ahead of USMNT international Matt Turner.
Morgan Gibbs-White is the glue that keeps Forest together. He links up the play and creates plenty of goalscoring opportunities. Former Manchester United winger Anthony Elanga will be the key for Forest if they are to gain any points on Sunday. The wing duo will look to supply service for the dangerous Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi, who will be leading the line.
Probable Lineup: Vlachodimos; Aina, Niakhate, Murillo, Toffolo; Sangare, Mangala, Dominguez; Gibbs-White, Awoniyi, Elanga
- West Ham United have won five of their eight home games across all competitions.
West Ham have won their last four home matches against Nottingham Forest in all competitions.
- Nottingham Forest have failed to score in their last three away assignments.
- Nottingham Forest have seen over 2.5 goals scored in two of their last three league matches.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in eight of West Ham‘s last 10 Premier League games.
Player to Watch
Mohammed Kudus looks like a star in the making for the Hammers, and as he continues to impress since signing from Ajax, he already seems to have established himself in Moyes’s plans. The 23-year-old scored in the recent Carabao Cup victory over Arsenal and also netted a smashing volley in last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Brentford.
Kudus fits nicely alongside teammate Jarrod Bowen, and their combination has added fluidity to their team’s front line. The Ghanaian attacking midfielder plays with real intelligence and always manages to find space to exploit. And with four of his five goals for the club coming at home, he will be eager to grab another for his side on Sunday.
West Ham United 1-1 Nottingham Forest
West Ham need to arrest their poor run of form that has landed a single win across the last seven league matches. That included losing three straight matches, and the fans are getting a bit impatient over the slide in fortunes. However, there is a reason these two sides are neck and neck on the table. Both sides have had similar seasons so far, and there is little between them, so the obvious call is a draw.