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David Moyes must axe Craig Dawson from West Ham’s XI vs Man City

West Ham United return to Premier League action this afternoon as they head north to face Manchester City at the Eithad Stadium.

Irons boss David Moyes rested the bulk of his first-team squad for their Europa League victory over Rapid Wien in midweek, so he has an interesting dilemma heading into kick-off as his side were defeated by Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, ending a seven-game unbeaten run.

The Scot will be in confident spirits considering that the Hammers beat the Citizens in the Carabao Cup last month and also remain in fourth place heading into today’s clash.

Who should start next to Zouma vs City?





One dilemma on his mind could be in defence, particularly in the absence of Angelo Ogbonna, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, per The Athletic.

Moyes’ men looked a little suspect up at Molineux, with veteran Craig Dawson partnering summer signing Kurt Zouma without the Italian colossus, but perhaps interestingly, the 31-year-old kept his place in a largely-rotated XI in Austria.

It’s the first time since September that he has started back-to-back matches in the space of a week, so it could well be a massive risk to then play him for the third time in seven days, particularly against the defending champions.

Not only that, the former Watford and West Brom centre-back could get exposed by the sheer quality on offer at Pep Guardiola’s disposal – the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus could all feast if he starts today.

After the loss at Molineux, the Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser was particularly scathing about Dawson’s performance. ‘Struggled at the back a little in stepping in for Angelo Ogbonna and was poor on the ball,’ he wrote.

Meanwhile, club legend Tony Gale slammed the 6 foot 2 centre-back for a “silly foul” and claimed he was “panicking” in making such a rash decision.

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The £52k-per-week colossus cannot afford to be in that kind of form against a side of City’s calibre.

In the past, Dawson has also been described as “very, very shaky” by The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas, in quotes relayed by This is Futbol.

You only have to look at what the Premier League holders did to Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain, who have Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, to see the sort of damage they can inflict on their day.

If Dawson plays like he did against Wolves, then City could well run riot. As such, Moyes must make the ruthless call to axe him from his starting XI this afternoon.

AND in other news, Imagine him and Zouma: Rob Newman could seal West Ham bargain with £9m-rated “real force”

Article title: David Moyes must axe Craig Dawson from West Ham’s XI vs Man City

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