West Ham’s fantastic last-gasp victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup last night was another memorable FA Cup tie under the lights at the Boleyn Ground.
Although the win was vital, it did come at a price. Slaven Bilic was forced into a number of substitutions after the likes of Winston Reid, Joey O’Brien and Cheikou Kouyate had to leave the field of play due to injuries.
Kouyate went up for a 50-50 duel before being knocked out, causing a brief moment of panic amongst the West Ham players. Thankfully the Senegalese midfielder regained consciousness but he had to spend the night in hospital. He will now be assessed for six days before he can return to first team action.
The defensive crisis for West Ham continues as Winston Reid picked up a hamstring injury that could keep him on the sidelines for a month. Joey O’Brien was also forced off in the 82nd minute, leaving the Hammers with only one recognised right-back in the squad in Sam Byram.
What will worry Bilic is that Byram is only one booking away from suspension having racked up nine yellow cards already this season.
With a growing injury list at the back for the Hammers, it could see Reece Oxford return to the side. The 17-year-old was linked with a loan move to Charlton in the January transfer window but it now looks as if his presence in the senior squad is an important one as James Collins and Angelo Ogbonna are the only fit senior centre-backs in the side.
Oxford was hugely impressive in a midfield role against Arsenal on the opening day of this season but it looks likely that he may appear for the Hammers in the back four if the defence keep picking up injuries.
Thankfully, there is some positive news for the Irons on the injury front as Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini returned to full training this week. They are currently both rated as ‘maybes’ for the trip to Norwich but will almost certainly be in line to feature against Blackburn in the fifth round of the FA Cup on 21st February.