West Ham United have been a huge boost ahead of today’s crucial Premier League fixture…
The Hammers are just one point away from securing a place in the Europa League and have been given some rather encouraging news from the Southampton camp.
Speaking in his pre-game press conference, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed that he would not risk striker Che Adams as he has one eye on this summer’s European Championships.
“Che cannot play on the weekend because he has a small groin injury, so he will also definitely be out,” he told reporters, via the Daily Echo. “It is five to 10 days, so his chance for the weekend is a small one, but we didn’t take the risk because we know he has the Euros coming up, which for him is a big tournament.”
He also revealed that Oriol Romeu is in line to return to the squad for the first time since late February following a knee injury but given he has only just begun training again, it would be hard to see him start from the off, handing Moyes and West Ham further encouragement.
Will Smallbone is also a confirmed absentee.
There is so much on the line for the Irons today, less so for Southampton.
One more point will secure a Europa League berth and their best-ever finish since the 1997/98 campaign when Harry Redknapp guided them to eighth place.
In reality, this is a must-win game for West Ham, just to ensure they get over the finish line with no worries. A loss, with results going against them elsewhere, could tarnish what has been a phenomenal run under Moyes.
It was nearly a year ago that he steered the East London outfit to safety with one game to go, now he’s one more match away from achieving what would’ve been unthinkable before the season started.
Saints could well be missing two key stars and this will only bolster their chances, so it’s huge news for the Scotsman heading into kickoff.
Adams is currently their second top-scorer on nine goals behind Danny Ings (12), though he offers more than just the ability to find the net, as he has averaged one key pass per game, which also makes him amongst Hasenhuttl’s most creative options, as per WhoScored.
Similarly, Romeu’s role in defensive midfield cannot be understated as he does the dirty work that often goes unnoticed, and he would be one tough battle for the out-of-form Jesse Lingard if he were to start.
He tops the charts for tackles (3.4) and isn’t far behind for interceptions (1.5) per game on the south coast.
All in all, this news should absolutely delight Moyes as his chances of securing that point have been bolstered massively.