When West Ham face Wolves at 5:30pm on Saturday, it will have been over 100 days since their last Premier League match.
Following the confirmation of ‘Project Restart’, fans of West Ham have been well aware that they are heading straight back into a relegation battle.
The Hammers sit in 16th place as the table stands, just out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
West Ham’s form wasn’t great before the season was halted, with just two Premier League wins in 2020. However, this is a restart for everybody and ‘current’ form doesn’t carry the meaning it usually would.
Facing a Wolves team who will still believe they can fight for the last Champions League spot is a tough first game back, but West Ham do have the home advantage (albeit without the fans) and understand how crucial three points will be.
Here’s the starting XI we believe David Moyes will go for in the game:
GK - Lukasz Fabianksi
Fabianski is West Ham’s number one and is one of the first names on the team-sheet.
RB - Ryan Fredericks
Having been out for five months with a shoulder injury, Ryan Fredericks is fit again and available for selection.
CB - Issa Diop
It’s two years to the day that West Ham signed Frenchman Issa Diop from Toulouse. The 6″4 defender will be hoping to replicate his best form to keep out Wolves’ stellar attack force.
CB - Angelo Ogbonna
Partnering Diop at the heart of defence, if fully fit, should be Angelo Ogbonna. It is hard to argue against Ogbonna being one of West Ham’s best players this season and although he missed both friendly games recently, he has been spotted in training this week.
LB - Aaron Cresswell
Another player who has recently recovered from injury, but one who played 30 minutes in the recent friendly against Crystal Palace. Masuaku has also featured at left this season, but it’s likely that whoever plays this match will be facing the electric Adama Traore, and Cresswell is the more defensively gifted of the two.
CDM - Declan Rice
The 21-year-old England midfielder is likely to play an integral role in West Ham’s bid to stay up. Rice is raring to go and says the team will give everything to get the results needed on the pitch. However, Rice may be used as a centre-back if Ogbonna isn’t deemed 100% fit.
CM - Mark Noble (C)
Playing central midfield will, of course, be club captain Mark Noble. Noble will be desperate to keep his beloved club up this season and will look to lead them onto victory against Wolves.
CM - Tomas Soucek
Having just extended his loan deal, you would expect the imposing figure of Soucek to line up alongside Noble in the heart of West Ham’s midfield.
RM - Jarrod Bowen
January signing Jarrod Bowen is likely to start out wide against Wolves. After opening his account for the Hammers against Southampton, he will be hoping to chip in with a few more goals to help the Hammers fight for safety.
LM - Felipe Anderson
The Brazilian forward is one of the most naturally gifted footballers at the club. Coming in from the left, he will be looking to provide the much-needed service to his striker.
ST - Sebastien Haller
It seems very likely that frontman Sebastien Haller will be playing the lone striker role. He will be reliant on support from the two wide men and will be looking to add to his seven league goals this season.