Liverpool Suffer to Midfielder Xabi Alonso Before Game vs. West Ham

Jord WilsonContributor IMay 8, 2009

Liverpool are set to go into Saturday's evening kickoff at Upton Park without prize midfielder Xabi Alonso.

Alonso still hasn't recovered from bruising after Newcastle United's Joey Barton unnecessary tackle which saw the Magpie's midfielder receive a red card and a ban from his club.

However, there's some good news as Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano are set to start. Mascherano picked up a knock in last Saturday's 3-0 win but he has recovered and has travelled along with Torres, who tweaked his hamstring in training before last weeks match.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said; "He is training with the physios and maybe tomorrow he will start training with the rest of the team, I think he will make the weekend."

Liverpool have been plagued with Injurys this season, with Fernando Torres' Hamstring, Steven Gerrards groin and Phillip Degens... Well, everything actually, proving troublesome.

Liverpool have overcome these injury concerns in the past and showed strength in depth with Lucas replacing Xabi Alonso in a memorable 4-1 win at Old Trafford, David N'gog and Dirk Kuyt filling in for Torres and Lucas doing a good job filling in at Gerrards position at Stamford Bridge.

The Hammers go into the game tomorrow on the back of a 1-0 win against Stoke City last weekend. Match winner Diego Tristan is set for a start whereas Mark Noble, who celebrated his 22nd Birthday on Friday, looks to do as he did last year and score the winner against Liverpool.

A 93rd minute penalty gave West Ham a win over Liverpool last season and Noble will be looking to do the same on Saturday.

"I scored the Penalty and it was a good result for us" said the hammers captain, "We were mid table at the time and there wasn't much on the game but now we've moved on and every point we pick up now is important."

Kieron Dyer, James Collins and Scott Parker are set to miss the game but Jack Collison is fit again. Dean Ashton's ankle injury rehabilitation and Valon Behrami's back injury rehabilitation are reportedly going well but striker Carton Cole is a doubt for the Hammers tomorrow.


Stat Attack

- Alan Wiley will officiate the game. Wiley has given 46 yellow cards this season and just 1 Red card, administered to Nemanja Vidic against Liverpool in March.

- West Ham earned a creditable 0-0 Draw at Anfield earlier in the season, and last seasons results saw a 4-0 Liverpool victory at Anfield and a 1-0 West Ham victory at Upton Park.

- Liverpool are on a scoring rout recently, scoring 10 goals in their last 3 premier league games.

- Liverpool are second in the table and will go top with a win in London and they will stay there unless Manchester United get a result in the Manchester Derby on Sunday. West Ham are 7th in the table.

- Form Guide

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