Hammers trio back

Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 by PA

West Ham have Herita Ilunga, Kieron Dyer and Valon Behrami available for the visit of Liverpool

Left-back Ilunga has recovered from a jaw injury, Dyer is over hamstring trouble and fellow midfielder Behrami returns from long-term knee damage.

But Luis Jimenez (muscle) is a doubt, Dean Ashton (ankle) and Luis Boa Morte (knee) are still unavailable and new signing Guillermo Franco is unlikely to play.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez could field the same starting XI for the third game in succession.

Benitez has plenty of options, with Fabio Aurelio back from a knee injury while former Hammer Javier Mascherano has recovered from a pelvic problem.

Ryan Babel is pushing for another chance after not starting a game since the first day of the season.

Defender Daniel Agger has returned to training after a back operation, but will not be considered.

Steven Gerrard insists there is still a lot more to come from Liverpool this season.

The Anfield men face West Ham intent on stretching their current run to four successive victories.

Skipper Gerrard believes Liverpool are starting to run into form and he is aiming for a repeat of last season's 3-0 win in east London that included a double from the England midfielder.

Gerrard said: "We are finding our form. Last weekend we felt that in the victory over Burnley we started to click into form.

"That performance was much more like what we are looking for. We ground out a win at Bolton in the previous league match but last weekend we played some really good stuff.

"We had put some pressure on ourselves by losing two early matches, but we showed against Burnley that we are perfectly capable of playing the sort of inventive football that was our trademark last season."

But he added, after the Champions League win over Debrecen made it three wins on the bounce: "There is a lot more to come from us this season.

"We are improving with every game, and the goals are being shared around.

"Yossi Benayoun got a hat-trick against Burnley, Dirk Kuyt is always capable of scoring while I believe that Fernando Torres is the best striker in Europe.

"If we create chances we have plenty of players capable of putting the ball into the net, and that makes it hard for anyone playing against us.

"They just cannot keep one or two players quiet, because we have dangerous players all over the pitch."




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