Liverpool saw Mamadou Sakho forced off during the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea on Wednesday.
The French defender lasted just 57 minutes at Stamford Bridge before leaving the field with a back complaint.
He will be assessed ahead of the weekend, but Brendan Rodgers may decide he is not worth the risk.
Glen Johnson stepped in against Chelsea, but the Reds will be expected to go with more natural cover at centre-half against the Hammers – if they stick with a 3-4-2-1 formation.
Dejan Lovren is back at their disposal, following injury struggles of his own, and there is a case for arguing that the Croatia international would be a better option against Sam Allardyce’s travelling troops.
|Aerial Won||Duel Won||Total Clearance||Interception||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Aerial Won GAME||Duel Won GAME||Total Clearance GAME||Interception GAME||Appearances||Mins Played|
As the Opta statistics above help to highlight, Sakho is not the strongest in the air.
Given that West Ham will arrive at Anfield with a certain Andy Carroll within their ranks, Liverpool need to ensure that they are ready to face an aerial challenge head on.
Carroll, as an ex-Liverpool player, will want to prove a point back on Merseyside and his form over recent weeks suggests that he is someone Rodgers will need to keep a close eye on.
Lovren should relish that particular battle and, with Martin Skrtel alongside him, the Reds should believe that they have enough physicality within their starting XI to deal with anything the Hammers throw at them.