By Joe Ellis

15th Aug, 2022 | 6:10pm

West Ham United could give Maxwel Cornet first start v Viborg

Ivory Coast international Maxwel Cornet is set to be handed his first start for West Ham United in the first leg of their Europa Conference League playoff, according to Claret and Hugh.

Danish outfit Viborg will be the visitors to the London Stadium on Thursday (18 August) as the Irons look to secure their place in the group stages of the competition.

Cornet is expected to come in and start his first game for the club since his summer move from Burnley by deputising at left-back for the suspended Aaron Cresswell.

His need to play in defence is due to Craig Dawson’s ongoing hip problems that have ruled him out of the midweek clash and subsequently kept Ben Johnson at centre-half with only Kurt Zouma left of the central defenders fit.

There are no new injury concerns outside of that however but Moyes could look to rotate his squad for the visit of Viborg on Thursday and give full debuts to the likes of Flynn Downes and Gianluca Scamacca too.

Thin

As soon as rotation comes into things you start to see how thin this West Ham squad is and why they could be doing transfer business right up until 11pm on 1 September (when the transfer window closes).

They have certainly been unfortunate to suffer injuries largely in one position as they did last season but they should have realised the possibilities of that.

Angelo Ogbonna is never more than five feet from a severe injury now and Zouma has had his own problems too even though he is the one fit right now.

Dawson is getting close at least and could be back for the weekend’s Premier League fixture but it would be a risk.

The one thing Moyes couldn’t legislate for was his big-money summer recruit finding himself in the physio’s room without a competitive ball kicked and it has severely disrupted things.

A move has to be made rapidly to ensure the season doesn’t get away from the Irons too soon.