Liverpool play West Ham at Upton Park tonight in an early-evening kick-off, knowing they need all three points to keep the pressure on Manchester United. A win would actually put the Reds top on goal difference overnight, having played two games more.
Their chances of getting those three points are boosted by the presence of both Fernando Torres – back from a hamstring injury – and Steven Gerrard.
One important name missing from the teamsheet is Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard was injured by the reckless tackle that saw Joey Barton sent off in front of the Kop for Newcastle last weekend and so in comes Lucas. Javier Mascherano was also injured in that game but has recovered in time to start tonight.
Yossi Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt have been bagging goals of late for Liverpool and both start, with Yossi likely to play on the left.
Martin Skrtel partners Jamie Carragher at centre-back, with the long-serving and ever-reliable Sami Hyypia on the bench if required, in one of his last three chances to play for Reds before leaving at the end of the season.
West Ham’s hopes of finishing sixth were all-but dashed earlier in the afternoon when Everton got a point against Tottenham, but it is still mathematically possible. Seventh place would still give West Ham the chance of playing in the renamed UEFA Cup next season, and although the Tottenham draw helps them out in that respect, Fulham won earlier and so West Ham start the game in ninth. The East London side will be fighting for a win.
Today’s referee is Alan Wiley, as it was last season in this fixture when a late penalty gave the Hammers the points.
West Ham: 1 Green, 2 Neill, 30 Tomkins, 15 Upson, 3 Ilunga, 13 Boa Morte, 16 Noble, 14 Kovac, 46 Stanislas, 32 Di Michele, 25 Tristan
Subs: 24 Lastuvka, 5 Lopez, 10 Nsereko, 18 Spector, 31 Collison, 33 Sears, 35 Payne
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 37 Skrtel, 23 Carragher, 12 Aurelio, 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas, 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 15 Benayoun, 9 Torres
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 2 Dossena, 4 Hyypia, 19 Babel, 22 Insua, 24 Ngog, 27 Degen
Referee: Alan Wiley
7 thoughts on “Torres returns for Reds”
Can’t argue with a result like that away from home at this stage of the season to take us top.
Great result. However Big Fat head Bruce will give Utd a gift on Wednesday. Its down to the Gunners and some Hull magic now…
i love him
We came, we saw, we conquered but, alas, did not win the ultimate prize.
Still feel good that we pushed United all the way. While I know many will have ‘what if’ syndrome, I know that for all the ‘what if’s’ for us other teams point to an equal amount.
I’m happy that we’ve consistently closed the ap between us and the rest and that we’re finally taking big points away from the other top teams. All’s looking well for next season.
Rafa now knows what he needs – two or three quality players requiring more funds and one or two players let go. Then on we go for the 19th title next year.
torres the best love u torresss 9 forever
According to today’s newspapers Rafa has but £1.5 m to spend on players for the foreseeable future.
I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last to say that Hicks and Gillett will ruin our club. Why on earth don’t they just get out ?
he is just the best and i dont care what other say’s but im you bigest fan ok to everybudy best wishes from kosova……………… qendresa
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