David Moyes will be thrilled to have a fully-fit squad available at his disposal as his West Ham side head to Belgium to face Genk in the Europa League this evening…
The Irons have been dealing with several niggles and fitness concerns over the past few weeks but as revealed by midfielder Tomas Soucek, the 58-year-old manager will have the services of both Alex Kral and Vladimir Coufal heading into kickoff.
“Cuf [Coufal] played his first match after an injury against Tottenham, he ran for the last eight minutes. He seems to be fine, which is very important. It is very difficult for any player when he cannot get on and help the team,” the Czech Republic star told Gol, in quotes sourced by football.london.
“I’m also glad that he came back, and I believe that he will get back to his former form in a few days. Fortunately, his injury was not long enough to affect him physically or in his head. He is also ready to play for West Ham and the Czech national team.
“Alex has also returned to the team, he normally trains with us. I believe that he will get back quickly and will be ready for the next matches in the club and in the national team. The ten-day quarantine was very unpleasant for him.”
This will come as a huge boost to Moyes as the lack of injury worries opens up the prospect of him rotating his starting XI, with the visit of Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in mind.
The Hammers occupy fourth place in the Premier League and are tied on points with Manchester City in third, and a result against the Reds, who are in second, could seriously bolster their ambitions to qualify for Europe once again.
Moyes’ men saw off the Belgian champions with ease two weeks ago, defeating them 3-0 at the London Stadium to go six points clear of their group, despite much of his usual lineup being rested. He can afford to do that, and another victory would all but confirm their place in the knockout stages.
Both Kral and Coufal, particularly the former, need minutes on the pitch in the eventuality they are eventually called upon in other competitions, so having them available to start tonight is certainly a benefit to the manager.
The likes of Ben Johnson, who has been deputising in the absence of the 29-year-old right-back, Soucek himself and Declan Rice could do with a rest ahead of the big clash this weekend and the Czech duo could afford Moyes to do exactly that.
He’ll be buzzing with the fact he has so many options and choices to make ahead of the game.