West Ham v Liverpool preview

18 September 2009 10:17
// A bit of a hack but it works// The article snippet is wrapped onto a second line, even when #article-sub is emptyif( $("div#article-sub").children().length == 0 ) {$("div#article-sub").remove();} Liverpool travel to West Ham on Saturday evening aiming to keep pace with the leading pack.

The Reds have won their last two Premier League games to steady the ship after losing two of their first three encounters.

West Ham have not won since the opening day of the season and they will be keen to secure their first home success of the campaign.

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola is still missing left-back Herita Ilunga with a cheekbone injury meaning James Tomkins will continue in defence.

Midfielder Luis Boa Morte remains sidelined with a knee problem, but Valon Behrami is pushing for a recall after making his return from a long-term injury as a substitute in last weekend's defeat to Wigan.

Alessandro Diamanti is pushing for a place in the starting line-up after impressing off the bench against Wigan and he could partner Carlton Cole in attack.

New signing Guillermo Franco is unlikely to feature having only signed for the club on Thursday.

Javier Mascherano is set to return to the Liverpool starting XI against his former club after recovering from a back problem.

The Argentine made a late cameo against Debrecen in midweek and he is set to return in midfield alongside Lucas Leiva allowing Steven Gerrard to resume his partnership with Fernando Torres in attack.

Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani is still missing as he recovers from an ankle problem, while the game has come too soon for Daniel Agger who is expected to return to action next week.

Fabio Aurelio is set to content himself with a place on the bench as he continues to find his fitness after a knee problem.

Glen Johnson and Yossi Benayoun are both likely to start against their former employers.

Possible starting XIsWest Ham: Green, Faubert, Upson, Gabbidon, Tomkins, Noble, Parker, Kovac, Stanislas, Cole, Hines.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Kuyt, Mascherano, Lucas, Benayoun, Gerrard, Torres.

Source: SKY_Sports