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Issa Diop semi-final surprise could be in store for West Ham after Athletic journalist's new Kurt Zouma claim

Issa Diop semi-final surprise could be in store for West Ham after Athletic journalist’s new Kurt Zouma claim ahead of the Europa League clash.

The day has arrived as West Ham face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-final first leg at the London Stadium tonight.

Excitement is building, not only for the game, but around whispers that West Ham’s defensive crisis could be eased by the surprise return of injured Zouma.

Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

But a Diop semi-final surprise could be in store for West Ham after an Athletic journalist’s new Zouma claim.

West Ham, under the direction of Moyes, had – until this week – given very little detail on the injury to Zouma or indeed Diop in his absence.

Moyes did admit Zouma has been responding well to treatment when pressed on the matter before the Chelsea game last weekend.

Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Speculation had been swirling that West Ham may spring a surprise by welcoming Zouma back for the semi-final (Claret and Hugh).

Moyes admitted that both Zouma and Diop were recovering more quickly than first expected when speaking in his West Ham press conference ahead of the Frankfurt clash.

“Kurt Zouma’s back doing some light work and Issa Diop’s doing quite well as well, so there’s a bit of positivity around those players,” Moyes said in his presser (whufc.com).

Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

But according to The Athletic’s West Ham reporter, Roshane Thomas, Zouma did not train with the team ahead of the Frankfurt game.

“Open training session at Rush Green,” Thomas posted on Twitter.

“No sign of Kurt Zouma but Aji Alese training with the first team.”

So could it be that a Diop semi-final surprise could be in store after the Athletic journalist’s Zouma claim?

That would tally with an update on the duo from Moyes on Wednesday night.

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images

“Kurt Zouma is back doing some light work. He is ahead of schedule which is really good,” Moyes told whufc.com.

“Issa Diop is actually doing quite well as well. He feels a little better than we first hoped, so there’s a bit of positivity around all those players. Because of that, it’s given us a perk up because it won’t be quite as long as we thought it might be.”

Let’s hope at least one of the centre-backs is available for what is West Ham’s biggest game in decades.

Moyes has us all second guessing and that includes Frankfurt and their manager Oliver Glasner. We’ll get our answer when the teams are named at around 6.30pm.

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