How West Ham could line-up against Bayer Leverkusen without three key players

West Ham United’s dream of Europa League glory has been dealt a fatal blow with the news that star attacker Jarrod Bowen will miss their upcoming quarter-final clash against Bayer Leverkusen, as per The Athletic.

The news comes as a crushing blow to manager David Moyes, whose worst nightmare has been realised ahead of a crucial European contest.

Bowen’s absence adds to the mounting injury concerns for the Hammers, with first-choice goalkeeper Alphonse Areola also a major doubt.

The 27-year-old was forced off early in the second half of West Ham’s comeback 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers after a challenge from Wolves midfielder Mario Lemina.  

Bowen’s injury leaves Moyes scrambling for solutions as he prepares to face Bundesliga champions-elect Leverkusen, who are yet to be defeated across all competitions this season.

To further compound West Ham’s woes, midfielder Edson Alvarez will also be unavailable due to suspension.

While Leverkusen boast an intimidating record, West Ham United are no strangers to upsetting the odds and could cause the Bundesliga leaders plenty of problems. 

We are currently seventh in the Premier League and this crop of players are looking to clinch back-to-back success in Europe after last season’s Europa Conference League triumph.

However, replicating that success this season in the Europa League will be a huge task, but denting Leverkusen’s unbeaten streak would be a massive statement of intent from the Hammers.

Kalvin Phillips would be a like-for-like replacement for Alvarez, but the Manchester City loanee has endured a disastrous start to life at West Ham. 

That could prompt Moyes to shift to a three-man backline, which would be a bold tactical move against Leverkusen’s attacking prowess.

Bowen’s absence should see Michail Antonio spearhead the attack, while Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek could keep their roles in the XI despite both coming off at the break against Wolves.

West Ham potential starting line-up:

(3-4-3): Lukasz Fabianski; Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Konstantinos Mavropanos; Ben Johnson, Tomas Soucek, James Ward-Prowse, Emerson Palmieri; Mohammed Kudus, Lucas Paqueta; Michail Antonio.