News Default West Ham's Tactical Dilemma: Ward-Prowse or Paqueta?
Vladimír Coufal

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West Ham's Tactical Dilemma: Ward-Prowse or Paqueta?

By Angus Sinclair

Published 1 minute ago

The Hammers need to rebound after sliding to defeat at St. James' Park on Saturday. West Ham United's late defeat against Newcastle United has left a nasty bruise, not least because David Moyes' side had impressively engineered a 3-1 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Challenge Ahead

Still seventh in the Premier League, though slenderly so and having played an additional game than their rivals, West Ham face quite the task in securing a European qualifying spot if a vein of consistency is not found soon.

Up next, Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur make the cross-London trip to avenge their home loss to the Irons in the reverse fixture. The Hammers will be up for the occasion, eager to put the loss on Tyneside behind them.

Team News

Crucially, Edson Alvarez will miss out once again as he serves the second match of a two-game suspension after amassing ten yellow cards this season. Nayef Aguerd may return to central defence, but goalkeeper Alphonse Areola will miss out after picking up a groin injury in Newcastle.

Premier League 23/24: Top Goalkeeper Save Percentages

  1. Alphonse Areola (West Ham) - 75.8%
  2. Alisson (Liverpool) - 75.3%
  3. Andre Onana (Manchester United) - 74.7%
  4. Nick Pope (Newcastle United) - 73.6%
  5. Bart Verbruggen (Brighton & Hove Albion) - 72.9%

Tactical Decision: Ward-Prowse or Paqueta?

Tottenham have a wealth of attacking firepower that could damage the hosts. Considering this, Moyes might be inclined to push Lucas Paqueta into a deeper-lying role, pushing James Ward-Prowse to the bench.

Ward-Prowse, signed from Southampton for £30m last summer, started excellently and indeed has five goals and 11 assists as a Hammer, praised for his "magic" ability on the ball. He scored against Tottenham back in December. But he's not quite been at the races recently and was particularly shocking last month against Burnley.

Playing Paqueta in a deeper, central role would certainly be a possibility against Tottenham. The Brazilian ranks among the top 8% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe's top five leagues over the past year for passes attempted, progressive passes, tackles, interceptions, and aerial wins per 90.

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