West Ham United suffered a bitter end to Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, giving up a red card, a penalty (which was saved) and a goal in the final five minutes.
Craig Dawson’s red card means he is now suspended for his game against Arsenal, although he is free to play against Frankfurt in the Europa League in midweek.
It’s the latest in a long list of defensive problems for West Ham, as they’ve already lost Issa Diop, Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma to injury. As it stands, it doesn’t look like the trio will return to action this week.
If so, that’s effectively all of West Ham’s senior centre-backs out of the game against Arsenal.
West Ham have other players who can play in central defence, with Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson as part of a back-three against Chelsea on Sunday.
As mentioned, this defense managed to keep Chelsea out until the 90th minute, so absences don’t mean Arsenal are going to have it easy.
But with Dawson gone, things are even worse for David Moyes’ side now. They’ll probably have to try something like dropping Declan Rice into the back three alongside the two full-backs.
If nothing else, the situation must give Arsenal some confidence ahead of another must-have game for Champions League football.