Liverpool will be looking to widen the gap at the top of the table with a win, when they take on West Ham United away from home on Monday.
Following their 1-1 draw against Leicester City during the last week, the Premier League leaders will be aiming to get back to winning ways when they travel to the London Stadium to face off against West Ham United.
Liverpool wasted an excellent opportunity to stretch their lead at the top against the Foxes, after their closest rivals Manchester City had lost to Newcastle United. And heading into Monday’s games, the Reds have just a two-point lead, following the champions’ 3-1 triumph over Arsenal on Sunday.
Manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his team will be able to come back with a strong reaction after the frustrating outcome against Leicester City and extend their lead at the perch to five points.
West Ham United find themselves under pressure after a run of three defeats in three matches across all competitions. The Hammers haven’t been at their best recently, and following their losses to Bournemouth and most recently Wolverhampton Wanderers, they are currently stationed in 12th place in the league standings.
West Ham were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool the last time these two met, back on the opening weekend of the season. Manchester City will be following the match keenly, hoping that their former manager Manuel Pellegrini will do them a favour in the race for the Premier League title.
Team News & Tactics
West Ham United
Former Arsenal and Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri has been ruled out of the tie with an injury. Aaron Cresswell and Lukasz Fabianski are back in contention for selection, but star attacker Marko Arnautovic remains a doubt due to a foot injury and will undergo a late fitness test.
Manuel Lanzini is closing in on a return, but Jack Wilshere, Fabian Balbuena and Andriy Yarmolenko all remain long-term absentees for West Ham. Manuel Pellegrini is likely to set his team up in a 4-4-2 formation against the Merseysiders, with the fit-again Fabianski set to start between the sticks.
Pablo Zabaleta will take up the right-back slot, while Aaron Cresswell will come in for Arthur Masuaku on the left-side. Both full-backs will have their task cut out against the threat posed by the Liverpool wide players. The central defensive partnership of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna will once again take the field.
Captain Mark Noble and the young Declan Rice will take up the two positions in the middle of the park, while Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson will be tasked with providing the width and creative threat from the right and left flanks respectively.
With Arnautovic a doubt, Andy Carroll is in line to start against his former employers. He will most likely be partnered with the pacey Michail Antonio, with Javier Hernandez providing the option from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Noble, Rice, Anderson; Antonio, Carroll
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez remain sidelined for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have been boosted by the return of James Milner, following his one-match ban. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still some way away from making a return to first-team action.
Liverpool are expected to revert to the 4-3-3 formation from the 4-2-3-1 setup against the Hammers on Monday, with Alisson Becker manning the posts. The returning Milner will take up the right-back slot and will have a battle at his hands to keep Felipe Anderson in check. Andy Robertson will start on the opposite side, with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk starting at the heart of the defence again.
Fabinho did not start the last game, but his presence in the middle of the park adds more solidity to Liverpool and that is why he is expected to start on Monday night. Captain Jordan Henderson, making his 300th Premier League appearance, will return to midfield, having played as right-back last time out, while Georginio Wijnaldum is set to take up the third spot in the centre.
Up ahead, the trifecta of leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s hero against Leicester Sadio Mane and the industrious Roberto Firmino are guaranteed starters, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge providing Klopp options from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Allison; Milner, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
- West Ham United have lost their last four Premier League matches against Liverpool, conceding exactly four times in each defeat (0-4, 1-4, 1-4, 0-4).
- Liverpool have won both of their Premier League matches at the London Stadium against West Ham – they haven’t won three consecutive away league games against the Hammers since January 2007.
- In top-flight history, only twice has a team scored four or more goals in five consecutive matches against an opponent, a feat Liverpool will be hoping to emulate – Sunderland vs Manchester United (five between 1893 and 1906) and Arsenal vs Middlesbrough (seven between 1930 and 1933).
- West Ham are looking to win three consecutive matches in all competitions at the London Stadium for the first time in what will be their 61st match at the stadium.
- Liverpool have kept six clean sheets away from home in the Premier League this season, one more than they did in the whole of 2017-18. They last kept more on the road in the 2014-15 campaign (8).
Player to Watch
The Egyptian maverick goes into the game as the leading goalscorer in the Premier League, with 16 strikes against his name so far, while he also has seven assists to go along with. Having failed to make much of an impact against Leicester City last time out, Salah will be gunning to fire his team to a win on Monday night.
Salah boasts an impressive record against West Ham United, having bagged four goals in just three appearances against the London outfit. The 26-year-old is chasing the 50-goal mark for Liverpool in the Premier League and currently has 48 strikes against his name after 60 matches.
Should he grab a double on Monday, he will become the fastest player to reach that milestone for Liverpool, beating Fernando Torres (72 matches) as well as Alan Shearer (66 games for Newcastle United) to the record for fewest games to reach 50 Premier League goals for a single club.
West Ham United 0-2 Liverpool
West Ham United are stuttering at the moment and have struggled to get positive results, with defeats against the likes of Bournemouth, Wolves and AFC Wimbledon (FA Cup) hurting their morale. Add to that, the injuries to Samir Nasri and Marko Arnautovic, which have stacked the odds against them even more.
Liverpool, on the other hand, haven’t been at their brilliant best as well in recent weeks. The Reds have won just two of their last five games in league and cup (D1 L2), after winning the previous eight matches. However, they have shown the desire and determination to carve out results while not being at their fluent best.
As a result, we at The Hard Tackle expect Jurgen Klopp’s side to walk away with a victory from the London Stadium and stretch their lead at the top over Manchester City to five points.