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A run of just one win from seven Premier League matches between November 20 and December 26 threatened to derail West Ham’s top-four challenge, with the Hammers struggling for results and performances.
However, David Moyes‘s side have responded in excellent fashion, winning each of their last three in the league against Watford, Crystal Palace and Norwich City to move into fourth position in the table.
West Ham also beat Leeds 2-0 in the FA Cup last weekend, meaning that the capital outfit have been victorious in each of their last four games in all competitions, and they will now end the month with Premier League matches at home to Leeds and away to Manchester United.
The Hammers were not at their best against Norwich on Wednesday night, but a double from the in-from Jarrod Bowen was enough to record a 2-0 victory over the league’s basement side.
Moyes’s team have the fourth-best away record in the Premier League this season but have only won half of their 10 league matches at London Stadium, and Sunday’s contest is threatening to be a tricky affair.
West Ham will again be without the services of Kurt Zouma, Ryan Fredericks and Angelo Ogbonna this weekend through injury, while Said Benrahma is absent due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Tomas Soucek missed out against Norwich on Wednesday due to a positive COVID-19 test, but Moyes is hopeful that the midfielder will be available to return against Leeds.
Manuel Lanzini could be pushed further forward if Soucek or Mark Noble are available for this match, with Nikola Vlasic potentially dropping out, but Pablo Fornals, Bowen and Michail Antonio will again be certain starters for the top-four hopefuls at London Stadium.
As for Leeds, Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips, Tyler Roberts, Joe Gelhardt, Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell will miss out through injury, while Diego Llorente is absent through suspension.
Bielsa, however, is hopeful that Patrick Bamford, Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo Moreno will all be available for selection following recent issues.
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Junior Firpo should also be cleared to play despite suffering a head injury in the FA Cup loss to West Ham, and an attacking front four should include Harrison, James, Raphinha and Bamford.
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Lanzini, Fornals, Bowen; Antonio
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Dallas, Ayling, Koch, Firpo; Forshaw, Klich; Raphinha, James, Harrison; Bamford