West Ham United return to Europa League action as they welcome Genk to the London Stadium this evening.
David Moyes and his side will be looking to keep up their 100% win record in Group H and they will be buoyed with confidence from the weekend’s narrow but convincing 1-0 victory over Everton.
The Scotsman will surely be tempted to rotate his starting XI, as he often has done in this competition, especially with the small matter of Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
One player who is surely in line to start is Craig Dawson, who has a pretty remarkable record when playing for the club, notching a 63.5% win rate. He played from the off in the 2-0 win over Rapid Wien but not against Dinamo Zagreb.
His involvement could hand a rest to either Angelo Ogbonna or Kurt Zouma ahead of this weekend’s London derby, and as evident above, he can definitely be relied upon.
In fact, the Hammers’ only two losses this season have come when he has not played any involvement whatsoever.
The 6 foot 2 colossus has been described as a “leader” by former Hammer defender Anton Ferdinand, so the presence of the Italian beast will not be completely missed and whoever partners him, likely to be Issa Diop, will be in safe hands too.
Furthermore, Genk’s major weakness is from set-pieces, where they have already leaked a whopping ten goals, so the presence of Dawson could terrify them in east London tonight.
“In Belgium, they dominated the games that they lost. But they missed too many chances and conceded too many easy goals. Already ten from set pieces, especially against West Ham that can become a big problem,” explained journalist Marnik Geukens to football.london.
Dawson is a massive threat from set-pieces, so it would be wise for Moyes to start him tonight.
“I enjoyed working with Dawson and he’s the best attacker of set pieces that I’ve ever come across in my managerial career,” once claimed former Irons boss Alan Pardew.
The £42.5k-per-week star must be unleashed at the London Stadium this evening.