West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic says he will rotate his squad for the FA Cup trip to Liverpool on Saturday (January 30).
The Hammers will face Jurgen Klopp’s side for the third time this season – with the east Londoners winning the previous two meetings without conceding.
The last time the Upton Park outfit completed the league double over the Anfield side it was 1975 – and they managed to lift the FA Cup.
Bilic confirmed changes will be made to the starting XI because of injuries but reassured fans that he’ll be fielding a competitive team.
He said: “We have a big game and FA Cup weekend. I was not happy with our draw with Liverpool away but we’re very ambitious in the FA Cup and we’re looking forward to it. We are going to make some changes but only because what happened [with injuries] in October and November. It gave us the opportunity to have 15 or 16 players who were treated as regular players and improve on their match fitness.”
“Apart from Carl Jenkinson – and Sam Byram being cup tied – everyone else should be fit. James Tomkins is back training with us but Mark Noble has flu and we’ll wait till the last minute to see if he’s available. We’ll put a strong team out but we’ll make changes.”
The injury picked up by on-loan Arsenal right back Jenkinson in the 2-2 draw at home against title contenders Manchester City looks set to rule him out for the rest of the season.
However Bilic is clinging to the hope that the injury is not as serious as first indicated and he hopes the England U-21 international can still play a role in the season.
“We will have to see. He has an appointment with the doctor and we’ll wait for the result. He was really unlucky with that injury but we’re still hoping it’s not that bad. It’s definitely a knee injury but we don’t know how bad it is.
“It’s looking good for the other injured players. They will come back soon but not for the Liverpool game. Andy Carroll will be back in action in 10 days and Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini are two weeks away. They’re ahead of schedule and training hard. I watched Andy train on a day off and he looked really good so he could be in the squad for next weekend.”