Two absolutely key West Ham stars are facing the prospect of quarter-final bans in Europa League second leg clash against Sevilla.
Players booked three times in the Europa League up to and including the quarter-final stage get a one-match ban.
West Ham will benefit from that next week as they try to overturn last night’s 1-0 defeat in the last 16 first leg against Sevilla.
Because danger-man Lucas Ocampos will be suspended for the second leg at the London Stadium following his yellow card after that flashpoint with West Ham star Declan Rice.
But two absolutely key West Ham stars are facing potential bans in that Europa League second leg clash against Sevilla as Rice and Manuel Lanzini are both walking a disciplinary tightrope.
Rice and Lanzini were both booked in the Europa League group stages as West Ham qualified for the last 16 by topping Group H.
Two absolutely key West Ham stars facing bans in Europa League second leg clash against Sevilla
And the key midfield pair were both booked in last night’s first leg in Seville too.
That means should either pick up a booking as West Ham desperately fight to turn the tie around in the second leg, they will be suspended for the first leg of the quarter-final – should the Hammers qualify.
In an ideal world with a deeper, better squad, David Moyes would not even have to worry about the situation.
But losing either would be a big blow if West Ham do qualify.
West Ham – and Rice in particular given the position he plays – cannot afford to tread on eggshells in the second leg, though.
So it may be a case that Moyes tells his players not to change their approach as a result of the yellow card situation and worries about this particular “suspension bridge” if and when he has to cross it.
West Ham wasted more golden chances in the defeat in Seville.
It is becoming a worrying theme of late with West Ham guilty of extreme profligacy in defeats to Liverpool and Southampton too.
Let’s hope we are saving the goals up for next Thursday night which is undoubtedly West Ham’s biggest football match since the 2006 FA Cup final.