Liverpool will welcome West Ham United to Anfield on Saturday, with Jurgen Klopp aware that a win will put them at second on the Premier League table, albeit temporarily.
Liverpool have added motivation to tame the beast that is West Ham United on Saturday, with a win catapulting them to second on the Premier League table, atleast until the match between Manchester United and Chelsea a day later. With a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals all but secured, Klopp will be looking to charge ahead in the Premier League as well.
West Ham United, on the other hand, face the prospect of entering the top half of the league with a shock win over their hosts on Saturday. The Hammers have found their footing under David Moyes, who will look to take inspiration from his time as Everton manager and his brief stint as the manager of Manchester United in order to manage his troops at Anfield.
West Ham’s last visit to Anfield in the Premier League ended in a 2-2 draw while their latest encounter this season saw Liverpool win by a convincing margin of 4-1 at the London Stadium, albeit before the Hammers hired David Moyes.
Ahead of their latest meeting, we take a closer look at the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
Nathaniel Clyne is the only casualty going into the tie. Loris Karius should start as the goalkeeper after Klopp made him first-choice at the club. Virgil van Dijk is likely to be partnered by Dejan Lovren, with Andrew Robertson a certainty on the left side of the defence.
On the right, Trent Alexander-Arnold should start ahead of Joe Gomez – in line with the rotation policy in the said position. The front three pick themselves while as far as the midfield goes, the central position in a 3-man midfield will be taken up by captain Jordan Henderson, with Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum likely to be chosen ahead of other prospects.
Liverpool will have to be wary of West Ham’s counter-attacking threat and their preference to attack from the wings. This could see Klopp instruct Robertson and Alexander-Arnold be a bit more withdrawn in their role on either side of the defence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Mane
West Ham United
Arthur Masuaku is suspended for the tie while Jose Fonte and Manuel Lanzini are major doubts for the Saturday fixture. Pedro Obiang, Edmilson Fernandes and Andy Carroll are all sidelined for the game. But, Moyes has enough options at his disposal to offset the absence of the trio.
Moyes will prefer a 3-man backline once again, with Winston Reid likely to return to the starting lineup, alongside Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell. While Patrice Evra could be in contention to start as the left wing-back, he is likely to be on the bench, with Moyes preferring to start Michail Antonio in the said position, with Pablo Zabaleta on the other side.
Javier Hernandez should start upfront, but it will be the presence of Marko Arnautovic on the left side that will provide the impetus in attack. Joao Mario should start on the right and not in his preferred role in central midfield.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Adrian; Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Antonio; Mario, Chicharito, Arnautovic
1. West Ham Asian Handicap +2.0 @ 1.920
2. Over 10.5 Match Corners @ 1.90
1. Marko Arnautovic to score anytime @ 4.33
1. Liverpool are undefeated in their last 15 home matches in the Premier League.
2. David Moyes has never tasted victory against Liverpool at Anfield in all competitions as manager, drawing seven and losing the other seven.
3. Merseyside troubles – West Ham have lost 60 top-flight away matches against Liverpool, only one less than they have lost to Everton (61), their highest losses on the road in the top-flight.
4. Javier Hernandez has 4 goals and 3 assists in 9 appearances against Liverpool in all competitions.
5. Marko Arnautovic has been on fire under David Moyes. All of his 7 goals and 3 assists this season have come in his last 10 Premier League appearances.
Player to Watch
Arnautovic is a rejuvenated man under David Moyes. Castrated as a failed signing when brought in for a club-record fee, Moyes has turned it around, giving the Austrian ample freedom to go about his attacking duties with aplomb. Not only does he seem a threat on the wing but on goal as well, having scored vital goals to rescue points for West Ham United.
Against a Liverpool side that will be susceptible to set-pieces and counters, Arnautovic should be the one that holds the key.
Liverpool 2-2 West Ham United
West Ham United come into the game having lost just one game in their last six. David Moyes has turned it around for the London side and as they pay Anfield a visit, the tie looks a lot closer than the odds might suggest. In fact, we tip the Hammers to be quick to get out the gates and be a menace for the Liverpool defence.
Arnautovic and Chicharito will prove to be handful and Moyes’ three-man backline should convert to a five-man defence on the pitch and during pressure times.