Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Lucas Paqueta starts for West Ham in Chelsea clash amid betting allegations

West Ham boss David Moyes has kept faith in Lucas Paqueta by naming him to face Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

It has been a turbulent couple of weeks for Paqueta, who had been eyed by Manchester City after a £70million bid was made.

Paqueta’s move to Man City looks to be off

But a move to the Etihad is now off the cards after it emerged that the playmaker was under investigation for suspicious betting patterns.

Nevertheless, that has not stopped Moyes from picking the Brazil international to play against Chelsea.

West Ham take on their London rivals at home and are hoping to get their first win of the new Premier League season.

Having drawn against Bournemouth on the opening day of the campaign, they face a different test against Chelsea.

And Moyes knows he will need all the quality he has at his disposal, including Paqueta.

But the charges against the former Lyon star are quite serious after bets were placed in Brazil on him receiving a yellow card.

FIFA are also involved in the investigation after suspicious betting patterns emerged in Paqueta Island in Guanabara Bay, where the West Ham star grew up.

City ramped up their interest in the 26-year-old after Kevin de Bruyne suffered an injury against Burnley on the first day of the season.

Paqueta was eyed as a potential De Bruyne replacementGetty

Moyes has kept faith in the Brazilian amid the charges, thoughGetty

The Belgium international has been ruled out for four months, giving Pep Guardiola a huge headache considering the importance of the playmaker.

West Ham demanded £85m for Paqueta, which is the same amount of his release clause that will come into action next summer.

But City have since pulled out of any transfer talks amid the investigation into the player.

Brentford star Ivan Toney was handed an eight-month ban from football this summer by the FA after breaching betting rules.

However, it remains to be seen what kind of punishment Paqueta faces should he be found guilty of breaking laws.

West Ham XI: Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Soucek, Ward-Prowse; Bowen, Paqueta, Benrahma; Antonio

Chelsea XI: Sanchez; Disasi, Thiago Silva, Colwill; Gusto, Enzo Fernández, Chukwuemeka, Chilwell; Gallagher, Sterling; Jackson

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