West Ham United are facing the prospect of being without Tomas Soucek once again for their trip to Manchester United on Saturday afternoon.
The Czech Republic international was missing from action for the Hammers’ 3-2 defeat against Leeds United last time out in the Premier League, and it appears that while he is back in training, there are big doubts over whether he will be able to take his place against Ralf Rangnick’s side later today.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against United, David Moyes said: “We’ve had the virus like all teams and we have injuries as well.
“Tomáš Souček came back from the virus, we’re not quite sure yet if he’s ready so we need to try and assess that. Hopefully we’re not too bad and we’ll go there and try to do the best we can.”
Make no mistake about it, being without Soucek against Man United would be a huge blow to West Ham’s chances of picking up points against a team who are directly battling them for a Champions League place.
The Hammers’ defeat to Leeds last week put a dent in their hopes of clinching that top-four spot, but they know that a famous victory at Old Trafford would not only boost their confidence heading into these final few months of the season, but also deliver a crushing blow to their direct rivals too.
Soucek and Declan Rice have been the mainstays of this West Ham midfield since the former’s arrival at the club a couple of years ago, and breaking up that partnership has had a knock-on effect of not only robbing the Hammers of a first-choice midfielder, but also the impact it has on Rice’s game too – the Englishman’s performance levels have slightly dipped of late.
The Czech midfielder has had a huge influence on the Irons this season, winning more headers per game (3.5) than any of his team-mates while also ranking in the top three for tackles (1.7) and interceptions (1.5) per match, as per WhoScored. Those figures make it clear just how much his presence is being missed in the middle of the park.
Being without Soucek once again would be a huge blow to West Ham today as they travel to Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, West Ham are pushing hard for this star…