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West Ham boss David Moyes could be about to seriously anger Antonio Conte and Tottenham with his actions
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West Ham boss David Moyes could be about to seriously anger Antonio Conte and Tottenham with his actions

West Ham boss David Moyes could be about to seriously anger Antonio Conte and Tottenham Hotspur with his actions.

The Hammers had been in a five-club battle for four European spots with bitter rivals Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves.

That now appears to have split in two with north London rivals Arsenal and Spurs battling for the coveted fourth Champions League spot.

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The losers of that particular battle look set for the Europa League spot that comes with finishing fifth.

And West Ham are battling Man United for the other Europa spot for finishing sixth with whoever comes seventh entering the Europa Conference League.

West Ham do of course have bigger fish to fry in many respects with Champions League qualification the reward if they can win the Europa League.

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The Hammers trail Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 from the first leg of their huge semi-final.

And Moyes takes his side to Germany this Thursday for the all-important second leg.

With that in mind Moyes was asked what he intends to do with the small matter of Arsenal to face in the Premier League on Sunday evening.

Last week in a similar scenario against Chelsea, Moyes made six changes to his West Ham side as he rested the likes of Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen.

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And West Ham boss Moyes could be about to seriously anger Antonio Conte and Tottenham with his actions this weekend.

That’s after the Scot hinted that he may play a weakened team – possibly with some young players featuring – against Spurs’s top four rivals Arsenal.

The game already looks a tough one for West Ham given Craig Dawson’s suspension following his red card at Chelsea.

Moyes may be loathe to risk Kurt Zouma, who made a surprise early return from injury to play for West Ham against Frankfurt.

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And speaking in his pre-match press conference Moyes admitted he has been considering whether to use young players against Arsenal.

“I think ideally you would always like to reward your young players (with game time), and some of our U23s have done great this year,” Moyes admitted in his pre-match presser (whufc.com).

“They’re going to finish second in the league behind Manchester City, which is an incredible achievement really from where they’ve come.

“Not just that, I think our U18s are second in their league and the U17s have just won the London Cup, so there’s an awful lot of things behind-the-scenes which are beginning to grow and get better here.

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“When it’s games like Arsenal and the games are at this level, I think you need to be careful about putting young players in because you need to make sure you help your senior players as well, and that they’ve got enough belief to rely on the players around them.”

If the Chelsea game was any guide then Moyes will certainly make changes for Arsenal which could have a direct impact on Tottenham.

The likes of young centre-back Aji Alese could be waiting in the wings for a full Premier League debut. Captain Mark Noble looks certain for another run out too one would think.

But it’s not all bad news for Spurs. The Hammers were actually desperately unlucky to lose that game at Chelsea so it is not as if Moyes would be recklessly handing points to the Gunners.

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Conte will undoubtedly be angry if West Ham do make wholesale changes. But there is not a lot he, nor Spurs, can really do about it.

West Ham have earned the right to be in this position.

There is some hope for Tottenham, though, because Moyes’s changes at Chelsea did not necessarily help West Ham against Eintracht Frankfurt – if anything some players look sluggish after 11 days without a game.

Picking up injuries ahead of the second leg will be the big concern for Moyes, though. And that will surely result in several changes.

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