West Ham Starting XI Prediction vs Leeds United (FA Cup)


West Ham United faces Leeds United in what should be an exciting encounter between two Premier League sides at opposite ends of the table.

West Ham seems to have turned around a horrid run of form with two consecutive victories over the New Year. Those victories have seen them catapult themselves back amongst the top four contenders. As it stands, only one solitary point separates the Hammers from a spot in the top four.

Leeds picked up a valuable 3-1 victory over Burnley last time out in the league. The three points lifted them away from the relegation zone.

fa cup

With a couple of games in hand, The Whites survival in the Premier League is now well and truly in their own hands.

West Ham vs Leeds FYIs:

Kick-off time: 2 PM GMT, 9th January 2022

Team News: go here

Premier League Podcast: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): West Ham (LLLWW) Leeds (DLLLW)

With all that in mind, come gaze into my crystal ball as I attempt to predict what the starring XI for the Hammers might look like come lunchtime Sunday.

Frenchman Alphonse Areola will get a run between the posts. He is a tremendous ‘keeper and will hope to keep a clean sheet against Leeds. Failure to win by the Hammers could see the designated cup goalie’s first-team opportunities dry up.

The back four will have a familiar look to it as the Hammers recover from the devastating defensive injury crisis of earlier this season.

Issa Diop and Craig Dawson will almost certainly be the center backs.

As far as the full-backs go, I am going for Ryan Fredericks on the right, with Ben Johnson filling in on the left.

The central midfield three will probably look a lot different from usual. With one eye on the rearranged fixture against Norwich midweek, I expect the first-choice players to get a rest.

That means Mark Noble and Alex Kral lining up together in the defensive midfield pivot. Just ahead of those two will probably be Nikola Vlasic.

Jarrod Bowen will lead the attack with Arthur Masuaku on his left and Andriy Yarmolenko on his right.

I am picking a victory for the Hammers.

It won’t be easy, but they should get the job done.


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