West Ham Team News vs KRC Genk (Europa League): Soucek, Kral, Noble

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West Ham United will be looking to continue their tremendous start to the season when they face Belgian side KRC Genk in the Europa League this week. David Moyes’ men orchestrated a 1-0 victory over Everton in the Premier League, last time out, in a match I called ‘The Best Of The Rest Trophy.’ 

Star midfielder Tomas Soucek had to get a couple of stitches after a horrible-looking boot to the face from Salomon Rondon in the Premier League at the weekend. He said with more than a hint of sarcasm that he is “still alive” after the match. Despite him still being alive, I think he might get a rest for this one.

 West Ham vs KRC Genk FYIs:

Kick-off time: 8 PM GMT, 21 October Thursday

West Ham Starting XI Prediction: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): West Ham (WWWLW)

During the West Ham gaffer’s pre-match press conference, it was revealed that Czech midfielder Alex Kral has returned a positive COVID-19 test and will be set to miss at least the next two matches, as he follows isolation procedures.

It’s not all bad news for the Hammers, however, as both Ryan Fredericks and Vladimir Coufal are available for selection. Fredericks seems the more likely of the two to start, with Coufal touted to take a spot on the bench. David Moyes revealed that the Czech right-back has been having injections, in order to aid his recovery from a groin injury.

Captain Mark Noble should return to the squad after missing the Everton game with what David Moyes rather hilariously referred to as a “grumbly hip.” Expect Noble to come straight into the starting eleven and give Tomas Soucek a chance to recover from his facial injury.

Traditionally, the Europa League is used to rotate the first-team squad and this fixture will almost certainly see Issa Diop and Craig Dawson line up in the center of defense as the Hammers look to rotate their defensive options.

This is, on paper, the Londoners’ easiest fixture in the group stage of the Europa League.

A victory at home against the Belgians would put West Ham within touching distance of securing an early qualification to the UEL knockout stages.

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