$render.recurse($ctx, '$content.code.value')
Search

West Ham new boy set for first start in Crystal Palace showdown

PUBLISHED: 08:30 30 January 2018

Antonio could be on the bench for injury-ravaged Hammers

West Ham new boy Joao Mario is set to make his first start tonight as the Hammers look to bounce back from their FA Cup horror show at Wigan Athletic.

The Portugal international midfielder came on at half time at the DW Stadium on Saturday, but could only watch on as Arthur Masuaku was red-carded for spitting and then Wigan grabbed a second and clinching goal.

But manager David Moyes felt he had seen enough to give him a start against Crystal Palace.

“I was pleased with him,” he said. “I don’t think he gave the ball away too often and he was neat and tidy.

West Ham United manager David Moyes (pic: Dominic Lipinskip/PA)West Ham United manager David Moyes (pic: Dominic Lipinskip/PA)

“I think it is blending him into the team that is the big thing and getting him used to what is required in the Premier League, but he is no mug.

“He is experienced and has been in European Championship Finals etc.

“He is fit enough, I was a bit concerned about where he would be because of his lack of games, but I think he looks like somebody who can move quite well.

“Obviously the speed and intensity of the game will tell us if he is ready for 60 minutes or 75 minutes.”

Moyes is battling to get skipper Mark Noble fit for the game after he trained for the last couple of days, but with Pedro Obiang out for some time and Cheikhou Kouyate also struggling, he will need his captain on the field.

“We have got people close to returning and hopefully there are a few others who can come back soon as well,” said Moyes.

That could mean a return for defender Jose Fonte, who has been out for the last three months and not played under Moyes, while Michail Antonio could make a welcome return, although both are more likely to be on the bench.

Moyes admits that this game will be tough against a revitalised Palace side under former England boss Roy Hodgson.

“I know Crystal Palace are a good team and they are just outside the top six among the form teams,” said Moyes.

“Roy has done a great job there. When you think where they were when he took over, he has done really well.

“It will be a tough job for us, but it will be a tough job for them as well.”

Injuries may be the crucial thing on the night and bringing players back who are not 100 per cent fit, is a big gamble.

“There is a chance that we might have a couple round the squad and round the team,” he said.

“Some may come in out of necessity, but they could probably do with some extra training and a bit more football, but sometimes that is what you have got to do.

“Antonio is one who will be close, but he is someone who is a big powerful boy and we have to make sure that we don’t do things too quickly.”

The match starts at 7.45pm.

$render.recurse($ctx, '$content.code.value')

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

11:00

Lakeside Hammers boss Will Pottinger has warned his team about the “unknown quantity” patch-up Peterborough side for their crunch play-off semi-final decider.

10:02

Bostik North: AFC Sudbury 1 Barking 1

Barking and Dagenham’s best GCSE students were recognised at an awards ceremony.

08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

The Spurs manager admitted his team suffered ‘a little bit more’ than he would have liked during today’s derby with West Ham

Yesterday, 17:25

FA Cup fourth qualifying round: Boreham Wood 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 2

The Hammers huffed and puffed but couldn’t beat Hugo Lloris

Yesterday, 13:56

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been discussing various topics with Layth Yousif during his exclusive interview this week. The talented 26-year-old invited Layth to his house for an in-depth discussion on a wide-ranging number of issues as the star prepares to launch his first soccer school at the end of this month. Read on for more...

PROMOTED CONTENT

Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Barking and Dagenham is home to Better Extreme, London’s largest indoor skatepark. Whatever your discipline, be it skateboarding, inline, BMX or scootering, there’s a challenge waiting for you.

Barking Sporthouse has a wide range of fun things to do with your children this summer

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now