“A draw is a good result and gives us a great chance for the second leg,” said West Ham United manager David Moyes after last week’s UEFA Europa Conference League clash at KAA Gent.
“I have to praise Gent, they were very physical and very strong. We didn’t do enough to threaten them.” Now comes the second and final leg of the quarterfinal tie, and it’s a match where Moyes will have three fitness/selection concerns.
West Ham United vs Gent FYIs
Kickoff: Thurs Apr 20, 8pm local, London Stadium, UK
Competition: Conference League Quarterfinal Leg 2/2, Tie is even 1-1 on aggregate
West Ham United Starting XI Prediction: go here
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Series History: Gent wins: 0, Draws: 2, West Ham wins: 1
Fun Fact: the score draw last week ended a 10 game unbeaten in UEFA competition streak for WHUFC
Two Hammers defenders missed the London derby draw against Arsenal, Angelo Ogbonna and Nayef Aguerd. An ankle issue, sustained during the first leg in Belgium, kept Aguerd out on the weekend.
He tried to play through the pain in training, but just couldn’t go on it.
“It was last-minute. Aguerd in training yesterday felt it,” the Scotsman said.
“The boys who were out there will know he took a kick and his boot came off in the incident in Belgium and it was a boy who had ran down the back of his ankle.”
As for Ogbonna, he’s suspended for this fixture, due to yellow card accumulation in UEFA competition.
“Angelo had the fall, he felt okay but he’s stiffened up with his back,” Moyes told football.london. “That’s why the two boys missed out, so it was a really late call on the change.”
And then finally, you have the case of long-term injury absentee Gianlucca Scamacca. The Italian striker underwent knee surgery on Saturday, and given how late in the season we are now, it is likely we do not see him again until 2023-24.
Moyes did not provide a time table for his return though.
“I’ve not seen the pictures,” the Irons manager said yesterday.
“All I know is he had knee surgery, we’re not sure. We’re awaiting it, it only got done yesterday.
“We’re awaiting clear information on exactly what’s been done, we don’t know if it was a washout, we don’t know if anything has been removed, floating bone. I’ve just not got the answer to that.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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