West Ham United defender James Collins is confident he is on the brink of returning from injury ahead of his side's Premier League showdown with Liverpool on Saturday (4 November).

Under-fire manager Slaven Bilic had faced the prospect of being without three of his options at centre-half for the visit of Jurgen Klopp's side with Collins missing his side's last seven games with an ankle problem.

The Hammers' defensive woes worsened last Saturday in their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace when Jose Fonte was forced off with a foot injury, with Winston Reid already missing out that afternoon through a hamstring injury.

That left Bilic with just one senior option at the back in Angelo Ogbonna, with 18-year-old Declan Rice and versatile midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate the manager's other options on the table.

Collins, who was initially expected to be out for three to four weeks with he limped off against West Brom with an ankle ligament problem in September, could now be ready to offer his manager another solution, however.

Collins wrote on his Instagram page: "Been a frustrating six weeks with the injury but very close to returning.... Can't wait to get back out there."

Bilic's future at the Hammers looked bleak following a 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on 20 October but the Croatian eased some of that pressure when his side sealed a stunning comeback against Tottenham Hotspur to reach the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

The Hammers led 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday, a result that would have further strengthened Bilic's position, only to surrender that lead in calamitous fashion, with Ogbonna giving away a second-half penalty before an error from Michail Antonio set up Wilfried Zaha to score a 97<sup>th minute equaliser.

West Ham will welcome Liverpool to the London Stadium sat just one point above the relegation zone.