Liverpool will be hoping to to continue their winning run in the Premier League when they take on West Ham United at the London Stadium on Wednesday.
The games continue to come thick and fast for Liverpool, who now have to play the Premier League game that they had in hand over the others. The Reds travel to the capital where they will lock horns with West Ham United, who will play hosts to the table toppers at the London Stadium on Wednesday.
West Ham United made a scintillating start to life under David Moyes, beating Bournemouth 4-0. Since then, though, the Hammers have managed just one win in five games and were booted out of the FA Cup this past weekend by ten-man West Bromwich Albion. Their most recent league game was a comprehensive 4-1 defeat to Leicester City.
Liverpool, on the other hand, also faced a bit of a setback in the FA Cup, having been held to a 2-2 draw by Shrewsbury Town, a result which was followed by some controversial comments by Jurgen Klopp. In the Premier League, though, the Reds have been nearly unstoppable and beat Wolves 2-1 a week back.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-1 draw, with Sadio Mane’s goal being cancelled out by Michail Antonio. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
West Ham United
David Moyes has a spate of injury concerns to contend with ahead of the visit of Liverpool. On Wednesday, the West Ham United manager will likely be without as many as seven first-team players, with attack posing a major concern.
There is some good news, though, with Lukasz Fabianski inching closer to his return from a hamstring injury. However, the game against Liverpool will have come too soon for the Pole, who, like Robert Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko, among others, will miss out.
The shift in formation to a 5-3-2 did not exactly work wonders for West Ham, while the 4-2-2-2 did not work either. Moyes could, thus, revert to the 4-2-3-1, with Pablo Fornals deployed on the left wing, although the Spaniard will look to move infield, allowing left-back Aaron Cresswell to provide width down his flank.
On the opposite flank, Michail Antonio will start in the absence of the injured Snodgrass, with Manuel Lanzini being given a free role just behind the striker. Sebastien Haller will lead the line for West Ham against Liverpool.
The midfield double pivot will be manned by Declan Rice and West Ham captain Mark Noble, with the duo aiming to stifle Liverpool’s attacking moves first and foremost. At the back, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna will form the central defensive partnership, with Pablo Zabaleta being the right-back. Darren Randolph will start in goal in the absence of Fabianski.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Randolph; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Rice; Antonio, Lanzini, Fornals; Haller
The big news for Liverpool ahead of the trip to the capital is that Sadio Mane has been ruled out due to the hamstring injury he picked up against Wolves last week. Mane is one of four Liverpool players who will not face West Ham United, with James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne missing out as well.
The big news for Jurgen Klopp will invariably centre around Mane’s replacement, with Divock Origi likely to get the nod over Takumi Minamino, despite the latter being the man to come in for Mane at Wolves. Origi will start on the left side of Liverpool’s three-pronged attack, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino completing the forward line.
In midfield, Jordan Henderson, who made a great deal of difference last week, will likely play the Anchor Man role, seeing as Fabinho once again looked rusty in the FA Cup contest against Shrewsbury Town. The Liverpool captain will have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum for company, with Naby Keita a backup option on the bench.
As far as defence is concerned, there is no looking past the quartet of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson. With both Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip failing to impress in the cup tie, Gomez becomes an automatic pick at the heart of the Liverpool defence alongside van Dijk.
Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will once again be tasked with providing the creative outlet on either flank, allowing the two wingers to drift in. Finally, Alisson Becker will be the man between the sticks for Liverpool against West Ham.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Origi
- West Ham United are winless in six Premier League matches against Liverpool (D2 L4) since winning 2-0 in January 2016 under Slaven Bilic.
- West Ham United have claimed just 11 points at home this term, a joint-lowest tally in the Premier League along with Southampton.
- Liverpool have beaten all 18 of the sides they’ve faced in the Premier League this season – the only side they are yet to beat are West Ham. The Reds last beat every league side they faced in a season in 1895-96 in the second-tier and have never achieved the feat in the top-flight.
- Mohamed Salah scored in his first four Premier League games in London for the Reds but has since failed to find the net in his last nine matches in the capital.
- Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool, netting four goals; the only players to have scored more top-flight goals against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, with seven and five respectively.
Player to Watch
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have been the leading lights for Liverpool this season, sharing the goalscoring responsibility thus far. However, with Mane sidelined for a week or so, Salah now has to shoulder much of this burden himself.
The Egyptian has shown signs of performing at his peak levels in recent weeks, with the goal against Manchester United a couple of weeks ago being a notable high point. Having not been at his best in London for quite some time now, Salah will also be eager to set the record straight when Liverpool take on West Ham. The stars seem to be aligning perfectly for Salah.
West Ham United 0-2 Liverpool
West Ham United will be smarting from suffering back-to-back defeats, with both losses being quite humbling in their own ways. Their job does not get any easier, though, with runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool paying them a visit up next.
The Hammers will hope to start by finding the back of the net, a feat that only Wolves have managed against Liverpool in the Premier League in nearly two months. However, this is a wall that might be too high to scale for West Ham, who appear to be desperately out of form.
The Hard Tackle predicts a straightforward evening for Liverpool, who should coast to a 2-0 win on Wednesday to stretch their lead atop the table to 19 points, with Mohamed Salah likely to be on the target.