David Moyes could be without several first-team stars as his West Ham side host Dinamo Zagreb in their final game of the Europa League group stage this evening…
The Irons may have already qualified for the knockout stages but they still have an unbeaten record to maintain heading into next year and they will be keen to put on a show in front of their fans at the London Stadium.
However, they may well have some key names missing ahead of kick-off as a whole host of players missed training on Wednesday, as relayed by football.london’s reliable reporter Tom Clark.
“Kurt Zouma was in the gym starting his rehab, Craig Dawson training alone, no sign of [Aaron] Cresswell or [Ryan] Fredericks at Rush Green,” he tweeted.
We already know that Zouma has joined Angelo Ogbonna on the long-term treatment table after the French summer signing was withdrawn early during Sunday’s impressive 3-2 win over Chelsea in the Premier League. You can see how that affects the odds for West Ham with the best betting bonus offers available right now.
“His injury is likely to take 3-4 months to fully recover,” according to ExWHUemployee, whilst young full-back Ben Johnson is expected to be out for at least two weeks with a hamstring strain.
So to not have any of those three players going forward is certainly a devastating blow but it now appears as if the defensive injury crisis has somehow got even worse with a further trio of Hammers stars either training separately or not at all.
Without Zouma and Ogbonna, it leaves Moyes with only two senior centre-backs, one of which being Dawson, so trained by himself, which is usually an indicator of some sort of injury problem. It could mean that the Scot has to dip into the academy to find a partner for the only remaining option, Issa Diop.
Similarly, not having first-choice left-back Aaron Cresswell available is concerning, though he has been out for several matches now, with Johnson filling in but with him now injured, it leaves only Arthur Masuaku. And on the other flank, it could only be Vladimir Coufal, with Ryan Fredericks missing, too.
Those around the London Stadium tonight may be hugely concerned when they read the teamsheet ahead of kick-off as it seems as if Moyes’s squad will look very weak on paper following Clark’s latest development.
Of course, the Irons are already through into the next round but many, including the manager, will want to keep up their unbeaten record and it will only add further doubt over the squad heading into Sunday’s clash with Burnley, where they will be looking to remain inside the top four in the Premier League.
This update is hugely worrying for supporters ahead of a very busy fixture list.
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