West Ham United travel to northern France to face RC Lens tomorrow for their final game in preparation for the 22/23 season.
The blood and gold are coming off of an impressive campaign, finishing 7th in Ligue 1. However, the club have got significantly weaker in the build-up to this season after losing potentially their two best players in Jonathan Clauss and Cheick Doucoure. However, so far they have managed to keep hold of their in demand captain Seko Fofana who has been linked to moves to Manchester United and Arsenal throughout the transfer window.
Lens have also signed Brice Samba from newly promoted Premier League side Nottingham Forest, a huge addition to Franck Haise's side. Lens are currently unbeaten in pre-season so far including a surprise victory against an almost full-strength Inter MIlan side at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.
Aside from confirming the signings of Areola, Aguerd, Downes and Scamacca, it has been quite a poor pre-season for West Ham so far. The Hammer only narrowly beat Ipswich Town and Swiss side Servette, drawing to Boreham Wood, Reading and Luton as well as a 3-1 loss to Rangers at Ibrox. However, with this being the final game of preseason before they take on Manchester City at London Stadium it will be taken very seriously.
As for West Ham's lineup it is tough to call. WIth rumours of Filip Kostic arriving in East London it is thought the Hammers may revert to the back 5 system, however the deal will not be completed in time for this game so a back 4 is expected. There is a huge injury crisis at the back with Aguerd out long-term and Dawson and Ogbonna unfit. Also Issa Diop looks set for the exit with Fulham interested. In midfield there are no problems, so Moyes will have all his options to choose from. Antonio is also expected to start with Scamacca on the bench as the Italian only arrived late on Wednesday evening.
Predicted West Ham starting XI: Areola, Coufal, Johnson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Lanzini, Bowen, Antonio.
This should be a tough test for the Hammers, potentially the biggest of preseason so far. It is a chance for the team to show what they've got going into the new season and for some players to show to David Moyes they deserve a place in the team next Sunday vs Manchester City. The club are looking at potentially bringing in another 4 or 5 more players before then which should motivate the current players even more for this game vs Lens tomorrow.