David Moyes has been handed a fresh injury blow ahead of West Ham’s final game of the 2020/21 campaign…
The Hammers will likely be without first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski after he suffered a knee injury during the warm-up against West Brom on Wednesday evening. It’s thought that the 36-year-old suffered a knee issue and had to be withdrawn from the starting XI at the 11th hour, with Darren Randolph featuring in his place.
“He felt his knee go from under him. I don’t know if he’s done anything bad. We’ll have to see. Obviously, it’s a blow because he’s been very good for us,” revealed Moyes after the victory.
The ever-reliable ExWHUemployee told fans on Twitter that he would “extremely doubt” Fabianski’s involvement against Southampton on Sunday afternoon.
Moyes has since delivered a fresh update on the situation, and it isn’t looking very good. Speaking in his pre-game press conference, the West Ham manager told reporters, via football.london: “Don’t know about Fabianski, [I] don’t think it is quite as bad at the time but it will be a last-minute call on Sunday.”
Given the endless list of injury problems with which Moyes has had to deal throughout the season, particularly since the turn of the year, it would be a surprise to see him risk the Poland shot-stopper.
Fabianski must surely have the European Championships in the back of his mind, so surely he won’t want to risk aggravating the injury, especially as it’s a knee concern.
Ultimately, this will come as a major blow to Moyes as it makes the Irons a much weaker side defensively. Randolph looked a little shaky from crosses and set pieces against the Baggies in midweek.
He will now be coming up against a pair of better forwards in Danny Ings (12 goals) and Che Adams (nine goals), both of whom average 1.5 or more shots per league game this term, as per WhoScored.
The 34-year-old will be in for a busy afternoon if he’s not at the top of his game, while it remains to be seen how the defence will feel without their usual and trusted number one behind them.
Fabianski has started 34 of their league outings this term, keeping nine clean sheets and letting in only 1.2 goals per game, via Transfermarkt.
West Ham need just one point from the match to seal a place in the Europa League, or else they’ll be competing in the lesser and inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League, which will be far less appealing to any of their mooted summer transfer targets.
Therefore, Moyes may well feel a little worried about their prospects going into such a crucial encounter this weekend. He’ll be hoping that Randolph can fit in seamlessly, but he’ll have to improve from midweek.