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Mikey out

David Moyes has confirmed that Mikey Antonio won’t play any part in the Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna on Thursday evening.

The Hammers striker has not even travelled with the squad to Austria for the game, which will take place behind closed doors.

That is due to a low vaccine uptake for COVID in the country but Hammers fans would have been suspended anyway after being punished for crowd trouble against Genk.

The Irons know that a victory against Rapid will secure top spot in the group.

The reverse fixture saw the Irons win 2-0 thanks to goals from Declan Rice and Said Benrahma and Moyes has confirmed that Mikey will not be involved this time around as he looks to rotate his squad.

Of course, the Hammers face an incredibly tough trip to Manchester City on Sunday, so Moyes may just be opting to ensure that Antonio doesn’t suffer an injury.

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Quoted by KUMB, he said: “We chose not to bring him. 

“We’re well aware of where we are and how we’ve been setting up so we’ll be strong, but we also know that we’ve got so many big games coming up in a really busy schedule. It’s the same as we’ve done in other games. We’ve chosen to decide when we need players.

“We’ve got a busy week coming up next week. We’ve got three games and it’s a full Premier League week for everybody, so we want to give Mich every chance of being ready and being in good condition for it.”

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.