How might new-look West Ham United line-up this season?
Richard Marsh | 18 July 2018
It’s all-change in East London
When West Ham United kick off their new season, the Irons’ starting XI will look very different from last season.
The Hammers have had a huge summer in the transfer market. Lukasz Fabianksi, Jack Wilshere, Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson have all arrived.
More may yet come. It gives Manuel Pellegrini arguably the best Irons squad in memory to work with.
But how will the Chilean work it? One thing for is for sure, he has options. The Coral News Team have got their tactical hat on and laid out a few formations Pellegrini might opt for this term…
This is unlikely to be the former Manchester City coach’s chosen method, but it’s there if he wants it.
Full backs come in either Pablo Zabaleta or Fredericks on the right, with Aaron Cresswell or Arthur Masuaku on the left. Diop, Declan Rice, Balbuena or Angelo Ogbonna compete for the middle slots.
Wilshere can slot into the middle alongside Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate or Pedro Obiang.
Wing options include Yarmolenko, Anderson, Michail Antonio, Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini.
Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez can play the little-and-large combo up front, while Arnautovic could also feature too.
Pellegrini is more likely to note the Hammers’ new-found attacking prowess however, and perhaps go 3-4-3.
Diop, Rice and Balbuena/Ogbonna would fit in the central defensive trio, with Fredericks and Cresswell in the wing-back positions.
Kouyate or Noble could hold down the holding role, allowing Wilshere to pull the strings. The former Arsenal man would then look to pick out Yarmolenko, Anderson or Lanzini in the forward areas.
It would leave one striker up top, with Pellegrini opting for Hernandez’s movement, Carroll’s height or Arnautovic’s combination of the two.
That could leave the Irons a little exposed at the back, however. So a better blend could be 4-2-3-1 and this is the one the Coral News Team deem most likely.
Here the standard back four returns, with full-backs Cresswell and Fredericks getting forward.
Wilshere will sit alongside Kouyate or Noble, pinging balls forward from a deeper role.
But the gift of this formation is it allows Pellegrini’s numerous attacking midfielders to roam.
The three behind the striker could switch and move as they please, causing a huge headache for defences.
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