England duo return for West Ham ahead of trip to take on Liverpool

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West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has revealed both Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio are fit to take on Liverpool on Sunday.

The Hammers travel to Anfield looking to seal their first win in the Premier League since October 22, on the back of a 5-1 loss at home to Arsenal.

Bilic’s selection has been hampered by a number of injuries to key players in recent weeks, but this is set to improve for the trip to Merseyside.

Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, the Croatian confirmed that both Cresswell and Antonio have recovered from fitness concerns and are available for the 4.30pm kickoff (GMT).

However, Cheikhou Kouyate is still out, with the defender still suffering from a hamstring strain.

“Antonio and Cresswell have been training and are available for Sunday,” he explained.

“We hoped Cheikhou would be back but it has come too soon.”

Though Kouyate’s absence is a blow to the Irons, being able to call upon Cresswell, a former Liverpool youth, and Antonio, top goalscorer with six strikes, serves as a major lift.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 6, 2014: West Ham United's Andy Carroll in action against Liverpool during the Premiership match at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bilic is also expected to field ex-Reds centre-forward Andy Carroll at Anfield, after the 27-year-old made a goalscoring return in the defeat to Arsenal.

Carroll has struggled with knee injury for much of the season, but will be raring to go against his old club.

However, writing in his column for the London Evening Standard, Bilic insisted that West Ham “have to be careful with him,” and not run the risk of incurring further injury.

The No. 9 would present a challenge for Liverpool centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip.

But Matip, who has recovered from an ankle injury and is set to start against the Hammers, has already proved his ability to shackle physical strikers during his time with the club.

The likes of Diego Costa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Christian Benteke, Salomon Rondon and Charlie Austin have all endured quiet outings against the lofty Cameroonian.

Carroll will be another test of Matip’s credentials, and Jurgen Klopp can put his faith in his No. 32 to succeed.

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