West Ham have been handed a major boost ahead of their Carabao Cup quarter-final against a Liverpool side riddled with injuries.
Anfield has been a place of misery for both West Ham and David Moyes. The Hammers have won just once there in the last 60 years, while Moyes has failed to win any of his 20 games there as a manager. Fortunately, they’ve been given a real chance to make history tonight.
Just as the title race is heating up, Jurgen Klopp’s side has been hit with a number of injuries that could not have come at a worse time. Win tonight and they have a real chance of winning the whole cup but, more importantly, they face Arsenal this weekend in a potential title decider.
Firstly, midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is a real doubt for tonight’s game thanks to a cut that has been causing more complications than the Red’s first expected. Ryan Gravenberch is also unlikely to feature after he went off injured against Manchester United with a pulled hamstring.
Diogo Jota, who has a knack for scoring against West Ham, has been back in training, but probably won’t play until after Christmas. Andy Robertson has no set return date from his bad shoulder and certainly is not going to be playing any time soon, though Tsimikas is doing an excellent job at left-back while the Scotsman is unavailable.
Liverpool’s two long term absentees are Bajcetic and Thiago, who have been out since March and April respectively. While, Joel Matip has ruptured his ACL leaving him sidelined until the end of the season.
Essentially, it leaves Klopp with a tough choice due to the majority of injuries being to rotation players. Does he either go full strength despite a tough game against Manchester United last weekend and then a 6 pointer against Arsenal on Saturday, or does he rotate by putting out an even weaker side than he would have liked?
Either way, it could work in West Ham’s favour. His side either faces a team of tired players desperate to preserve their energy, or he faces a weakened side.
Despite this, Moyes has his own dilemma. Our Irons face Manchester United this weekend, three points would see them leapfrog the Red Devils into a European place. Both managers have to decide if a chance of winning the EFL Cup is more important than winning a crucial Premier League game.