West Ham United manager David Moyes will be hoping for a return to winning ways when his side face Chelsea at the London Stadium this lunchtime.
The Irons are now winless in their last three Premier League outings, having been defeated by Wolverhampton Wanderers and defending champions Manchester City before a kick in the teeth on Wednesday after Brighton and Hove Albion bagged a late equaliser.
They do still hold fourth place in the standings, though, and that could be bolstered with a result against the title-contending Blues today. Moyes could seriously bolster the east Londoners’ top-four claims by making a bold and brutal call on veteran centre-back Craig Dawson.
The 31-year-old has been hugely underwhelming in recent matches and it’s hardly a surprise that they have struggled to pick up wins, as he has come in to replace injured Italian stalwart Angelo Ogbonna, who will now miss the rest of the campaign with an ACL problem.
Dawson struggled against the Seagulls and was arguably one of the worst players on the pitch – per SofaScore, he lost a whopping 84% of his six duels, which is very poor for a central defender and one of his aerial ability at 6 foot 2.
Meanwhile, his display at Molineux flattered to deceive, with Evening Standard reporter Jack Rosser grading him poorly in his post-match ratings column, as he wrote: ‘Struggled at the back a little in stepping in for Angelo Ogbonna and was poor on the ball.’
Thomas Tuchel has plenty of high-calibre players available at his disposal, especially in the final thrid, where he will look to punish the out-of-form Hammers.
The prospect of the towering Romelu Lukaku or the deft touch and electric pace of Timo Werner is a frightening one up against the former Watford and West Brom defender.
Chelsea currently top the table and have scored the second-most goals in the Premier League thus far, so it would be a massive risk from Moyes to start the defensive liability today.
He must be ruthless and axe the £52k-per-week Dawson from his starting XI, and he could easily do so with Issa Diop waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
AND in other news, Moyes targets £26m-rated “leader” after big West Ham blow…