West Ham injury worry over Tomas Soucek after shock decision as Czechs face World Cup play-off lottery despite win on Tuesday night.
West Ham stars Declan Rice, Kurt Zouma, Alphonse Areola, Pablo Fornals and Nikola Vlasic are already there while Said Benrahma and Arthur Masuaku’s hopes of Qatar World Cup 2022 qualification are still alive.
But tonight West Ham’s Czech trio Alex Kral, Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek are facing a World Cup play-off lottery despite a 2-0 win over Estonia.
Sitting third in their group, the Czechs needed a favour from leaders Belgium against second-placed Wales and to get their win against Estonia to have a chance of finishing second and sealing a seeded play-off place.
West Ham stars Soucek, Coufal and Kral were always susceptible to a carve up. And so it proved as Wales and Belgium played out a 1-1 draw.
It means the trio now face being unseeded for a best of the rest qualifying spot for the chance to make it to the Qatar 2022 World Cup next winter.
Ten countries make it into the play-offs in second place and two make it in via Nations League ranking. Thankfully for West Ham’s Czech trio, they and Austria are those two teams.
But there is a big worry for West Ham over Soucek from the game.
Soucek is the Czech captain and first name on his country’s teamsheet.
But he was only named on the bench and did not get on despite the Czechs using all five substitutes. Soucek’s West Ham teammate and fellow fan favourite Coufal was named skipper in his good friend’s absence.
There is no way Soucek would have been rested for such a crucial World Cup clincher.
The fact he did not get on either suggests he was only named in the squad for team morale.
West Ham injury worry over Tomas Soucek after shock decision as Czechs suffer World Cup heartbreak
There has been no reason given as yet for the shock Soucek decision.
West Ham will be hoping it was precaution if the midfielder has felt a niggle.
But knowing Soucek one would think he would insist on playing in such a huge game.
David Moyes will be desperately hoping he does not lose Soucek having lost Angelo Ogbonna to an ACL injury in the win over Liverpool.
West Ham travel to Wolves on Saturday knowing a win could see them go level on points with leaders Chelsea.
Elsewhere Andriy Yarmolenko played 82 minutes as Ukraine beat Bosnia 2-0 to seal a play-off spot.
And Zouma played the full 90 as France beat Finland by the same scoreline.