West Ham have received a potential boost ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Manchester United at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solksjaer confirmed a number of key absentees.
David Moyes’ side could take another giant stride towards European qualification for next season with a positive result, although facing a second-place Manchester United is no easy feat.
However, the Hammers have been handed a timely boost as Solksjaer confirmed during his pre-match press conference, as relayed by Manchester Evening News, the hosts will be without as many as seven first-team stars.
He said: ”No, I don’t think any of those (Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek) will be available.”
The Norwegian also all but ruled out Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, whilst long-term absentee Phil Jones remains sidelined.
There remains doubt over number one goalkeeper David de Gea who has been away for personal reasons and could have to quarantine on return to the UK.
By contrast, Moyes confirmed an almost clean bill of health within his own ranks, aside from the known absentees for the trip to Manchester.
The Scotsman won’t have Jesse Lingard available for selection, as the 28-year-old cannot play against his parent club.
Such is the embarrassment of riches afforded to Solksjaer, almost any team the manager names on Sunday will remain filled with quality.
That said, it’s hard not to view so many big-name absentees as a potential way in for the Irons, who would do their UEFA Champions League hopes a huge favour win a win on the road.