The Hammers are in desperate need for points after a horrendous start of the season where they were supposed to compete for at least a continental spot after a great season under Slaven Bilic the past years.
West Ham is currently sitting at the fifteenth spot of this year’s Premier League table and has only been able to achieve seven points after eight weeks of soccer, and they’ve been really struggling since moving from Upton Park to London Stadium despite having a pretty decent roster.
That’s why we’ll take a deep look into Bilic’s guys so we can tell which will be the best possible starting XI to face Sunderland, a team that has several issues of its own and will probably be relegated if David Moyes doesn’t make quick adjustments.
Goalkeeper – Adrian
This one was a no-brainer, as there’s no reason to think the starting job for the Spaniard is in any kind of jeopardy so far. Even if the hammers’ defense has been awful through most of the season, he can’t be held accountable for their teammate’s mistakes.
Centre Back – Angelo Ogbonna
The Italian will need some help from his mates, as he isn’t the most reliable defender, but can be a great option for the manager against the side, who are struggling in their attacking third.
Centre Back – Cheikhou Kouyate
This guy is one of the most versatile players in Bilic’s command, as he can play both as a defensive midfielder or a centre back with the same confidence. He was great against Benteke and Crystal Palace last week.
Centre Back – Winston Reid
The Auckland native has been the lone bright spot in West Ham defense so far, providing a lot of help in both halves of the pitch on a consistent basis, and becoming the MOTM in his team’s last game.
Right Wing Back – Michail Antonio
The roadrunner was the lone offensive option during the first games of the season for the hammers and his great performances even earned him a spot in Sam Allardyce’s England Squad. Besides, he’s scored 5 times this season
Left Wing Back – Havard Nordtveit
The 26-year-old former Borussia Mönchengladbach man has started four games so far and has been pretty decent in his displays. Averaging five defensive actions per game, the manager might use this Norway international on the opposite flank to that of Antonio.
Midfielder – Mark Noble
This one was another no-brainer, as the veteran midfielder is having a great season despite his team’s struggles. Besides, it’s never easy to send the captain of the team to the bench.
Midfielder – Pedro Obiang
The Spaniard has only made 3 appearances so far this season, but he’s been really consistent and has provided some balance in the center of the field for a team that hasn’t been able to stop anybody.
Forward – Dimitri Payet
You just can’t send the best guy in the team to the bench. Payet has been completely outstanding this year and he’s at least one step ahead of most guys in the league. He’s a must-start when healthy.
Forward – Manuel Lanzini
The young Argentinian has some great dribbling skills and the ability to shoot from long range, with Payet by his side, the dynamic duo can be a huge threat to a struggling Sunderland defense.
Striker – Simone Zaza
The Italian has really struggled to make an impact for Bilic’s side since arriving on loan from Juventus and there’s a lot of talk of a possible move away from London in January. However, he’s a really talented guy who just needs some more time to show what he’s capable of.