West Ham mainstay ruled out v Leeds after revealing knee injury in now-deleted Insta post
West Ham wing-back Arthur Masuaku has been ruled out of Friday night’s match at Elland Road against Leeds United.
The 27-year-old has been a key part of the Hammers’ approach so far this season, with David Moyes settling on a 3-4-3 formation in recent weeks.
The DR Congo international confirmed on Instagram on Thursday – before later removing the post – that he was due to have surgery on his knee and would miss out against Leeds.
“Today I’m having a knee surgery to help me remove the pain that’s been bothering me for nearly two years now,” he wrote (via Claret and Hugh).
“It’s been a very difficult decision to make but for my good being and the rest of my career, I have to make it. I’ll be giving updates here through my recovery and will see you soon again on the field. I wish my teammates/brothers the very best.”
Masuaku has now taken this down off his social media page. So, who knows. https://t.co/iEUH6iVBqy
— Sam Inkersole (@Sam_InkersoleTM) December 10, 2020
As per Premier Injuries, Michail Antonio, Andriy Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks will all face late fitness tests ahead of the game.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
On the Leeds side, Jamie Shackleton and Pablo Hernandez are both fit, but Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw have all been ruled out (via Premier Injuries).
Interesting match up
After Marcelo Bielsa named his starting 11 during his press conference on Thursday (via The Telegraph), there are unlikely to be any surprises from a Leeds perspective, but the Masuaku injury could force West Ham into a change in formation.
With Masuaku at wing-back and Aaron Cresswell at left-sided centre-back in a back three, Moyes has used the same system for most of the season, but the injury could force him to either switch to a back four, shift Cresswell to wing-back or bring in a makeshift wing-back.
Whether they switch their system or not is unlikely to change Leeds’ gameplan though, with Bielsa’s team set to attack the Hammers as they have all of their opponents so far this season. However, if Moyes chooses to move away from the 3-4-3 that has been so effective in recent weeks, it could leave the Hammers more exposed defensively than they have been in recent weeks.
With Rodrigo, Raphinha, Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford all set to start, Leeds should look to overwhelm West Ham’s new-look backline and expose them defensively as Manchester United did last weekend.
In other Leeds news, Lawrenson hails “most improved” Whites player