West Ham United's hopes of reaching their first FA Cup semi-final in 10 years have been boosted by the news that Victor Moses, Enner Valencia and Joey O'Brien are all available for the quarter-final clash at Manchester United. The trio have been out since February, but are ready to resume their campaigns at Old Trafford.
Defensive trio Winston Reid, James Tomkins and James Collins are, however, all unavailable due to fitness issues. New Zealand international Reid returned to training on Friday (11 March) after a hamstring problem but the game comes too soon for his return, while Tomkins and Collins are coming back from calf and hamstring injuries respectively, and will not be available to face Louis van Gaal's men.
"Victor Moses, Enner Valencia and Joey O'Brien are all back, Winston is training with us today after a week training individually with the physios," West Ham boss Slaven Bilic said, according to the club's official website. "Then, we have James Tomkins who has also been back with us and James Collins as well, but they will both be out for the game against Manchester United. Of course, Darren Randolph will play as he has done in the previous rounds and he has always performed when he has come in for both club and country."
Despite West Ham having leapfrogged United in the Premier League table following last weekend's late win over Everton, Van Gaal's side are the favourites for the clash. Bilic's side have won their last three league games to go within a point of the top four, and admits the Hammers are confident.
"We all know that their game against Liverpool last night was not a normal game," added Bilic. "It was at Anfield in an intimidating atmosphere and it is just a one-off game. On Sunday, they will be playing in front of their own fans and so unfortunately for us, we expect a better performance than last night. It is Manchester United and although they are under pressure they are capable of playing better and they have always bounced back after a tough loss, so it will be a tough game.
"We are confident, of course. Not because Manchester United didn't play well in the game against Liverpool, but because we are playing well. We are in good form, we have more options to pick from now that players are back from injury and that is the reason we are confident going into this game. We know the game will be tough, against one of the biggest clubs in the country in front of 75,000, but we take 9,000 fans who will be in fine voice and will create a great atmosphere to play in."