Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises West Ham's Tomas Soucek

Sam Preston February 9, 2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises West Ham's Tomas Soucek
Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Tomas Soucek’s weekend red card against Fulham has been rightly overturned and he is free to play against Manchester United tonight.

West Ham have absolutely no relegation fears so they should be able to go all-out for their last remaining chance of silverware this season.

Granted, the FA Cup fifth round draw hasn’t been the kindest to them, but a trip to Old Trafford shouldn’t intimidate a side doing as well as the Hammers right now.

Soucek, 25, has been as important to their performances as anyone and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was full of praise for the towering midfielder ahead of the game.

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“Very good,” Solskjaer said to United’s official website about Soucek in light of the news his suspension has been overturned.

“A goal threat, a physical threat. A good player, and I’m happy for him that he doesn’t miss three games.

“[It’s a] good strong squad. (David Moyes) has got more or less double cover in more or less every position, which you have to now, especially this season in the Premier League and the cups that we’re playing in.

“So we’ll face a strong West Ham team no matter who he picks.”

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Soucek and midfield partner Declan Rice have hardly had a rest all season and Mark Noble is the only realistic cover tonight.

They offer a robust shield for the backline and Soucek has proved adept at getting into the opposition’s box and scoring too.

Given how poorly United have defended set pieces this season – most notably at Southampton and at home to Sheffield United and Everton – that’s a weapon Moyes will likely look to exploit tonight.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.