West Ham trio Dimitri Payet, Winston Reid and Victor Moses eye Liverpool return
Published 29/12/2015 | 12:41
West Ham could welcome back three of their injured stars - including Dimitri Payet - when they host Liverpool on Saturday.
Midfielder Payet, defender Winston Reid and winger Victor Moses are all on course to return to the squad after spells on the sidelines.
Payet was one of the Premier League's most impressive performers until he suffered an ankle injury against Everton in early November, and his availability will be a major boost to manager Slaven Bilic.
"Hopefully some of the players will be back now, against Liverpool," said Bilic. "Payet, Reidy, Moses. It's only Diafra Sakho who we will be without for another four or five weeks.
"Dimitri started to train with the team on Sunday. He looks good, his ankle is very stable and the target is the game against Liverpool. I am delighted he is going to be with us for that game."
With Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll making their returns as substitutes against Southampton on Monday evening, West Ham's injury crisis finally looks like easing.
Carroll's 79th-minute header secured a 2-1 win - the Hammers' first victory in nine attempts - after Michail Antonio had cancelled out Carl Jenkinson's first-half own-goal.
But Bilic added: " I want to praise the other players who have been picking up points without them. That was crucial, but now with them back it should be better.
"It's good for me. It's hard to drop the other players but it's all about competition. If we want to be a big club, and if you want to get through periods like this with all the injuries, then you need a squad.
"That's the only way you can have the long-term success that the chairmen and the fans want."
Saints head to Norwich on Saturday looking to build on a promising first-half performance, which should have seen them go in at the break more than one goal ahead.
Midfielder Dusan Tadic, whose close-range effort was diverted in by Jenkinson, told the club's official website: "I think, especially first half, we can take a lot of positive things, but we also need to analyse the bad things, then I hope that we will be better.
"I think if we put that performance from the first half and to be more stable second half, we have a great opportunity to take points."