West Ham are facing up to something of a selection crisis ahead of their game against Crystal Palace on Tuesday, with Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaka having been added to the list of absentees following their FA Cup defeat at the hands of Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
#WHUFC players who couldn't feature today through injury: Ayew, Noble, Antonio, Rice, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Reid, Sakho, Fonte & Carroll. Now Obiang has gone off too.
— Sam Inkersole (@Sam_InkersoleTM) January 27, 2018
With the above list of 10 players already forced to miss out on the clash with the Latics over the weekend, the Hammers lost the aforementioned Obiang in the 36th minute with what David Moyes described as potential ligament damage.
Whilst it’s never nice to see any player injured, there’s no getting away from the fact that West Ham’s list of casualties will give hope to Roy Hodgson and his players ahead of what is a massive game for both clubs. In reality, Masuaka’s dismissal for spitting just after the interval against Wigan will have left Moyes wanting to pull his hair out, which can only bode well for us.
When you consider the extra rest we’ll have had after not participating in the fourth round of the FA Cup, not to mention the potential inclusion of Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Edral Rakip and Jarek Jach in the match-day squad, we should head into the fixture feeling confident rather than nervy.
Having pulled off a remarkable last-gasp draw when we played the Irons at home earlier this season thanks to a moment of magic from Wilfried Zaha you can be sure that the man himself will be up for the game, with three points having the potential to catapult us all the way up to 9th if results go our way.
Admittedly, the 4-1 loss against Arsenal last time out was a sign of how quickly things can slip in the Premier League when you’re not on your game but in West Ham we’ll be facing an opponent with fragile confidence and a squad that has been genuinely decimated by injuries.
The game itself may not be the most pleasing on the eye but I won’t care in the slightest if we return to SE25 with a victory to show for our efforts.