That’s according to a report by BBC Sport, who claim that both Craig Dawson and Ben Johnson are facing late fitness tests to determine whether or not the defensive duo will be available for selection at the London Stadium tonight – with Premier Injuries giving both players a 25% chance of featuring against Tottenham.
The 32-year-old centre-back is returning from a groin injury picked up in pre-season – something that has seen him miss all six of the Hammers’ fixtures so far in 2022/23 – while the 22-year-old right-back picked up a hamstring injury in the first half of the 1-0 victory over Aston Villa last weekend.
While it is true that West Ham’s first win of the season against Villa will have eased the pressure on David Moyes somewhat, Antonio Conte’s unbeaten side are sure to pose the Irons a stern test in east London this evening – with the 59-year-old manager sure to be hoping that both Dawson and Johnson will be available for selection against Spurs.
Indeed, both players have proven incredibly important to the Hammers over the past 12 months, with Dawson featuring in 34 of a possible 38 Premier League fixtures for the club last season – averaging an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.94 in the process, ranking him as Moyes’ joint seventh-best player in the league last time out.
Meanwhile, Johnson has started five of the club’s six matches in all competitions so far this term, with the versatile full-back having filled in at centre-back, right-back and right wing-back.
And, with the free-scoring Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski set to line up against the Irons this evening, Moyes will know that his backline simply must not put a foot wrong if West Ham are to have any chance of taking all three points from their London rivals.
As such, the potential absence of such a dependable defensive duo in Dawson and Johnson would undoubtedly come as a gutting blow to the 59-year-old manager, who will certainly be praying that at least one of the two are deemed fit enough to feature this evening – to avoid once again being left desperately short at the back.