David Moyes is sweating on the fitness of two of his West Ham stars ahead of this afternoon’s Premier League clash with Brentford…
According to Sky Sports, right-back duo Vladimir Coufal and Ryan Fredericks will be assessed before kick-off, having both missed their Europa League triumph over Rapid Wien in midweek.
The Czech Republic international was absent from training in the build-up to Thursday’s 2-0 win with a minor injury but according to manager David Moyes he has “a chance” of being involved today.
Meanwhile, his fellow full-back suffered a groin injury just 17 minutes into the Irons’ Carabao Cup victory against Manchester United a little over a week ago and has been missing ever since.
Both players are facing late fitness tests ahead of today’s encounter with the Bees at the London Stadium.
The Scotsman should be concerned heading into kick-off as he could be without his first-choice and backup right-back against a side that have already beaten Arsenal and frustrated Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in recent weeks.
Brentford are just two places behind the Hammers in the table and could leapfrog them should they clinch the three points in east London later this afternoon.
Thomas Frank has plenty of firepower at his disposal, having bagged the most goals of any side 10th or worse. The likes of Ivan Toney, Bryan Mbeumo and Sergi Canos can deal damage to any top-flight team, as we’ve already seen this campaign.
Coufal is an integral player in Moyes’ system.
He provided the second-most assists (seven) in the squad last season and he makes a big impact at either end of the pitch – as per WhoScored, he managed a team-high 2.1 tackles, on top of 1.2 interceptions and 1.3 key passes per game in 2020/21.
His form led to a glowing endorsement from Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who described the 29-year-old as “a manager’s dream” on Monday Night Football [4th May 2021, 22:24pm]
If he is absent, then usually Fredericks would be called upon and he’s been a steady and reliable backup for Moyes. In fact, it was he who provided the winner against Manchester United just minutes before picking up his injury.
It means Ben Johnson may need to be called upon once again, should both players miss the game, having made just his second start of the season on Thursday night.
There will also be another dilemma ringing around Moyes’ head as he may not want to risk either player unless they are truly 100% ready to feature. He will not want to see a returning player pick up another problem straight away, so it is certainly a major call to make.
The Hammers boss will be sweating on the fitness of Coufal and Fredericks ahead of their clash with the Bees this afternoon.