During West Ham United’s Wednesday training session, only 15 of the 23 man squad were shown to have participated. Six of the eight were expected to be absent, and we know why, but mystery surrounds the other two.
With a London derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium coming on Sunday, Hammers boss David Moyes could have some selection issues to contend with. Let’s run through them.
Tottenham vs West Ham FYIs
Kick-off: Sunday, Feb 19, 4:30 pm local, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham Preview Material: Starting XI Prediction Team News
West Ham Preview Material: Starting XI Prediction Team News
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Google Result Probability: West Ham victory 23% Draw 25% Tottenham victory 52%
PL Form: West Ham DDWLD Tottenham LWWLL
PL Standing: West Ham 16th, 20 pts Tottenham 5th, 39 pts
West Ham United Team News
The two unexpected absentees at training are both midfielders, Declan Rice and Pablo Fornals. Not much is known about the latter, but Rice is reported to have an unspecified virus. Although this virus wasn’t, at least apparently, strong enough to keep him out of the Chelsea draw..
This virus is understood to have kept Aaron Cresswell out of the London derby last weekend however. It’s fair to label Cresswell and Rice as doubts for this clash. Or at least, slight doubts.
And then you have six known injury absentees: Maxwel Cornet (calf), Kurt Zouma (thigh problem), Nayef Aguerd (groin), Gianluca Scamacca (knee) and Lucas Paqueta (shoulder).
There is good news though, as we went bad news first. French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who had to sit out the last two matches due to a hamstring problem, was shown as having returned to full training this week. So that is some good news for the Irons.
While West Ham certainly have a longer list of injury absentees than their opponents on Sunday, they do have an advantage on Spurs in this regard.
They had no European football to contend with this week, while Tottenham did, so they should have fresher legs.
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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