David Moyes returned to West Ham United on 29 December 2019 and in his first game back in East London three days later, he engineered a big win over AFC Bournemouth, beating them 4-0. He will be hoping to achieve the same outcome under the lights in Stratford tonight when the newly-promoted Cherries come to town.
After their unbeaten October run came to an End at Anfield five days ago, the Hammers have slipped to seventeenth place in the Premier League table, following the weekend’s results.
Former West Ham midfielder Scott Parker led the visitors back to the top-flight after finishing second in last season’s Sky Bet Championship but after a poor start to this campaign, Parker was dismissed in August and another former Hammer, Gary O’Neill stepped into the breach.
O’Neill is still in charge and like the hosts, his team will also be looking to bounce back after a 1-0 home defeat to Southampton in midweek.
Lucas Paquetá missed Wednesday’s defeat on Merseyside with a shoulder injury and is unavailable again but Moyes stated in his pre-match news conference on Friday that it isn’t as bad as first feared. That being said, Pablo Fornals will be in contention to retain his place.
Having made his first top-flight start against Jürgen Klopp’s men last time out, Flynn Downes will be desperate for a second consecutive game in the starting line-up and a full home debut.
With the UEFA Europa Conference game against Silkeborg IF to come in just three days time, Moyes will have to think carefully about his team selection here and may turn to Vladimír Coufal from the outset, while he also mentioned that Maxwel Cornet and Craig Dawson have a chance of featuring but they will face late fitness tests.
Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca ended the game with the Reds upfront together and Moyes may decide to change his system here in order to add more attacking threat.
The match is an 8pm kick-off and live coverage will be screened by Sky Sports from 7pm. The referee is David Coote.