West Ham United’s season opener against Newcastle United has suddenly become all the more difficult.
West Ham entertain Newcastle at the London Stadium for the first game of the new campaign on Saturday.
The two sides faced each other at St James’s Park near the end of last season and played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.
West Ham have a tough set of fixtures right through to November after the Newcastle game.
But now Newcastle itself has suddenly become an increasingly difficult proposition.
West Ham’s task vs Newcastle just got painfully difficult
That’s because Newcastle are expected to announce the double arrival of West Ham targets Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson today.
The pair are said to be on the verge of being announced by the Magpies imminently (Sky Sports).
Both were reportedly wanted at West Ham by David Moyes (The Sun).
But now instead they could be lining up against them at the London Stadium in the first game.
Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.
West Ham boss David Moyes has not been able to add a single new face this summer.
No new faces at West Ham despite scraping survival
That’s despite West Ham only just scraping to survival last season.
To make matters worse Wilson is one of West Ham’s chief tormentors in the Premier League.
The forward has made a habit of scoring against West Ham. And not always legally.
West Ham fans taunted Wilson when he was relegated with Bournemouth.
Now supporters will be worried he could come back to haunt them this weekend.
To make matters worse for Moyes, he could be without key midfielder Tomas Soucek.
Self-isolating Soucek a doubt
According to the likes of Football London, the West Ham midfielder is self-isolating after coming into contact with a member of staff that has tested positive for Covid-19 while away with the Czech Republic national team.
Soucek, who joined the Hammers in a permanent deal from Slavia Prague earlier this summer, is isolating purely as a precaution as he has tested negative for the virus.
That member of staff was reportedly the team’s masseuse. With the incubation period said to be between 5-12 days, it throws Soucek’s availability for the Newcastle game into doubt.
Newcastle have their own injury doubts. Steve Bruce will be without goalkeeper star Martin Dubravka and striker Dwight Gayle for the trip to east London (Sky Sports).