West Ham head to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon to take on Manchester United and there was some positive team news from David Moyes regarding his Hammers squad.
The manager confirmed that Tomas Soucek and Kurt Zouma are in contention for the trip to Old Trafford after both men returned to training following spells on the sidelines with injury and COVID.
Moyes is hopeful that Soucek will be fit for the trip to Old Trafford but said the midfielder would need to be assessed before the match.
“Tomas came back from COVID, we are not quite sure exactly how ready he is or if he is ready so we need to assess that and see exactly where he is,” he said.
Zouma has been out for seven weeks with a hamstring injury and had his recovery slightly slowed following his own positive COVID test but as with Soucek the defender is now back in training and is pushing for a recall to the team.
One player who is not likely to be involved is Said Benrahma, despite Algeria’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The reigning AFCON champions suffered a shock exit at the group stage on Thursday evening but Benrhama is not likely back in time for the clash with Manchester United.
West Ham head to Old Trafford two points above Manchester United in the table and Moyes is thrilled to be in that position, however he pointed out that it counts for little until the final league table in May.
“I am pleased to be in front of them but what really matters is us getting three points and that we are ahead of them come the end of the season and this time of the season it does not really matter that much,” Moyes said.
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A win over his former team will see West Ham close the gap on Chelsea in third place to just four points and the manager is looking to keep up the pressure on the other clubs fighting for Champions League football.
“Our idea is to try and challenge those top four teams, we don’t necessarily see ourselves as quite there yet but we want to try and challenge them, we want to try and have a good go at hanging in there,” Moyes said.
“We missed it last year by two points so the challenge to the players was to try and get those extra two points which might make it. Let’s be fair the level of competition for those spots is very strong. Over recent years there have been quite a regular group of teams in there with the likes of Leicester and Tottenham in there at different times as well so it is not an easy group to break into and we will try and keep hanging in there and see where we end up.”