14 February 2020 20:35
West Ham United protesters are in talks with Liverpool fans about taking their campaign against co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, and chairman Karren Brady, to the Kop later this month. And support for the demonstrations has reached as far as Italy, with a group of Italian Hammers booking flights to take part in the February 29 protest ahead of the Southampton game. Travelling West Ham fans are planning to release black balloons and display anti-board banners at the Liverpool match on February 24, which is being televised on Sky Sports. And protesters have been in touch with Liverpool's Spirit of Shankly group over the prospect of a banner in support of the grievances of West Ham fans being held on the Kop in a show of solidarity. It has been suggested that West Ham fans could respond by making donations to the food bank which is supported by Spirit of Shankly on Anfield Road.
While the West Ham protesters wait to find out if a banner will be displayed in the Kop, plans for the main protest on February 29, which is tipped to attract more than 3,000 people, are due to be released. A group of 20 fans from the Italian Hammers association have booked flights to attend the protest, with more expected to make the journey. West Ham hope to have Felipe Anderson back for their rearranged game at Manchester City next Wednesday. Anderson has been out for a month with a back injury but the Brazilian has returned to training and could feature at the Etihad. His return is a boost for West Ham in their battle to avoid relegation.
Anderson has struggled this season to recapture his good form last season but he and new signing Jarrod Bowen will add to the attacking options available to David Moyes. Bowen, the £22million January signing from Hull City, is in line to make his debut against Manchester City. The winger was due to play in the game last Sunday but it was postponed because of Storm Ciara. Andriy Yarmolenko, who has been out since mid-December with a thigh problem, is closing in on a return. It seems more likely he will be back fit to face Liverpool at Anfield on February 24. West Ham players have been given five days off this week during their designated winter break and are due back in training on Saturday to begin preparations for the Manchester City game.