David Moyes hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing Declan Rice in the centre of defence tomorrow evening at least publicly.
We have little doubt that the captain will remain in front of a back four but the manager was his usual reclusive self when rejecting the opportunity of giving us or Lyon any clue on what he may or may not do.
As one may expect he took a little time talking up Issa Diop given Kurt Zouma’s absence before throwing in the Declan possibility.
As a manager who likes to give nothing away it came as no surprise as it was probably the only confusion card he had up his sleeve.
But the idea that he could lose his midfield dynamo into a role the player deserted a couple of years back is frankly impossible to believe as it would give more to Lyon than it would us.
Moyes declared: ‘“We’re still getting Kurt checked fully and assessed, so I can’t give an answer on what time [he will be out]but he’s not with us today.
“It’s a really big blow when you lose somebody who is a French international and a World Cup winner. It happens in football – you get injuries along the road – and unfortunately Kurt has got an ankle sprain.”
Of the most likely replacement Diop he said: “Issa has not really let us down. He’s come into the team quite a bit at different times – there was a period when Kurt was out injured for six-to-eight weeks earlier in the season when we relied on him.
“It’s not something unusual for Issa, he’s always been there or thereabouts, so hopefully if he gets that opportunity, he’s able to take it.
“Declan has played there before too and would give us a different dimension if we have to play him there [at centre-back].
“We’ve got that possibility, but we also know that he’s a big miss if we take him out of the middle of the pitch, so we have to consider that.”
“I’m not going to give the news out on anybody else,” he said. “Like Lyon as well, maybe they’ve got some injury doubts, maybe not, so we’ve got the same.
“It’s the time of the season, with not many games to go, where players have had a long season, so we need to wait and see how we are tomorrow.”