Bilic facing West Ham defender crisis for Liverpool clash - report
By George Brooks
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is facing a defensive injury crisis ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool, according to a report.
The Mirror report that the Croat is on “thin ice” after the weekend’s disappointing performance against Crystal Palace.
The Hammers threw away a two-goal lead at Selhurst Park to draw 2-2 with Wilfried Zaha scoring a 97th-minute equaliser.
The pressure is now mounting on Bilic to deliver a result against Liverpool to save his job, but the manager has major injury concerns ahead of the Reds’ visit to the London Stadium.
Pablo Zabeleta is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season on Saturday, while Winston Reid missed the game owing to a calf strain.
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Jose Fonte limped off in the second half with a foot injury and James Collins is still struggling with an ankle problem.
Therefore, Angelo Ogbonna, who conceded a second-half penalty on Saturday which allowed the hosts a route back into the game, is one of Bilic’s only defensive options for the weekend.
His other two options are Cheikhou Kouyate, who is primarily a midfielder and 18-year-old Declan Rice.
His side’s 3-2 EFL Cup victory over Spurs last week is understood to have eased the pressure slightly, but the Hammers’ Premier League position is of priority to the club’s owners.
They currently sit 16th in the league table with just nine points.
After the visit of Liverpool on Saturday, West Ham face Watford at Vicarage Road before another home game against Leicester.
In other West Ham team news, this Sky Sports pundit has criticised the team for their weekend performance.