Football

Naming Leeds line-up early may be ruse: West Ham manager Moyes

West Ham United manager David Moyes said his Leeds United counterpart Marcelo Bielsa may have been bluffing when he named his starting side in advance of Friday’s (Dec 11) English Premier League clash between the teams.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Bielsa was asked if he would keep West Ham guessing on his centre-back partnership with Diego Llorente and Robin Koch out injured and the 65-year-old Argentinian, who has previously coached in Spain, proceeded to list the entire line-up.

“It might not be his team. It could be a bluff. It could be very clever, but I do think it’s quite common for managers in Spain to name their teams before games from my experience,” said Moyes, who previously coached Real Sociedad.

“We see it in other sports. It doesn’t happen in our sport for different reasons but, overall, does it make it easier? I don’t think so because they’re a good team.

“Now and again, I’ve named the team early, but most of the time we keep it until later... We’ll keep our team until we’re ready to announce it and prepare our players for the game.”

Moyes said forward Michail Antonio was still doubtful due to a hamstring injury that also kept him out of last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Manchester United, which saw the London side slip to eighth in the table with 17 points from 11 matches.

The Scottish manager said that he expects another tough game against 14th-placed Leeds at Elland Road.

“We’re going to have to play well and show we have players with a similar type of energy as they do,” Moyes said.

“They’ve been involved in some great games. Their style is great to watch. They’ve got a really experienced manager and he’s certainly got a good group of players.”  – REUTERS

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