WEST HAM UNITED
20.11.2010, 22.55 IST – Live on ESPN
Anfield will be reverberating with support chants and the YNWA anthem on Saturday evening as the Reds look to put an end to their oscillating form. After a positive start to their resurgence, following their victory against Chelsea a couple of weeks ago, Roy Hodgson’s men have found it hard to lift their spirits over the past week, which has seen them battle it out for a draw against a resilient Wigan Athletic and be on the losing end against a strong and confident Stoke City. Liverpool will surely see a win against bottom of the table West Ham as the perfect opportunity to revive their lost confidence.
The Hammers have a legacy when it comes to producing quality talent for English football, but sadly that is not the case with this team so far this season. With just 1 win and 6 draws out of the opening 13 games, Avram Grant’s men are terribly short of team spirit and confidence. Grant will always be known for his heroics with Chelsea and then Portsmouth, but at Upton Park he has a team struggling for form and consistency. Although on paper, West Ham United doesn’t look like a team that can be taken lightly, Grant will surely be content with just a single point from this away tie.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Liverpool were dealt with a big blow on Thursday when Steven Gerrard was ruled out for four weeks due to a hamstring injury which he picked up in the international friendly against France. With Joe Cole still on the sidelines nursing injury, Roy Hodgson will have to put on his thinking cap once again when it comes to selecting the midfield combination.
On the brighter side however, the weekend marks the return of five of the first string player s- Dirk Kuyt, Fabio Aurelio, Fernando Torres, Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson; which is reassuring news for Hodgson and the Liverpool fans. Also, Roy’s recent remarks on the performance of Glen Johnson might spur him on to put up a solid display against the Hammers.
West Ham’s lowly position in the league standings might convince Roy to draw an attacking lineup that will go all out against the struggling Hammers. The tempo of the game is expected to be high and if the Gaffer can get his choices right, Liverpool should see a lot of ball possession in the midfield.
Possible Starting Lineup: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Poulsen, Meireles, Maxi, Babel, Kuyt, Torres.
West Ham United
West Ham do not really face any grave injury issues which is certainly a good news for Avram Grant prior to such a huge game.
The Hammers will surely be looking for that early goal that will place them in the pole position against this unconvincing Liverpool outfit. Club captain Scott Parker will have a very important role to play in the midfield battle against the likes of Kuyt and Meireles. Also with Torres playing as the lone striker upfront, the West Ham attack will hope to press the Reds’ supply line forcing them to rely on long balls and in turn limiting the Torres threat.
Possible Starting Lineup: Green, Gabbidon, Upson, Ilunga, Jacobsen, Scott Parker, Kovac, Noble, Behrami, Obinna, Piquionne.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Scott Parker (West Ham): The in-form captain will be the key figure for the Hammers. His ability to support the strikers while attacking and tracking back deep to help out his defenders during counter-attacks makes him TheHardTackle’s Player to Watch Out For.
In the world of football, Scotty does know!
Liverpool 2-0 West Ham
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST