Liverpool will be hoping to take another big step towards winning the Premier League title when they welcome West Ham United to Anfield on Monday.
The curtains will fall on Gameweek 27 of the 2019-20 Premier League season on Monday, when the table toppers will be in action. Liverpool will be eager to return to winning ways when they play hosts to West Ham United at Anfield, with the Hammers in need of a positive result.
Liverpool have steamrolled past everyone in the Premier League this season, beating every single opponent they have faced so far. A first Premier League triumph is imminent, with the Reds in need of just five more wins to seal the deal. However, Jurgen Klopp’s men come into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
West Ham United, on the other hand, have failed to kick on under the tutelage of David Moyes. The Scottish manager has overseen just two wins in the nine games he has overseen, with each of those victories coming in his first two games in-charge. Without a win in seven, the Hammers are in the drop zone now, with relegation a strong possibility.
The reverse fixture, played at the London Stadium last month, saw Liverpool cruise to a 2-0 win, with Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on target. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Jurgen Klopp was recently dealt a major blow, with Jordan Henderson out for nearly a month. The Liverpool captain sustained a hamstring injury in the 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid and will miss out against West Ham United on Sunday.
Apart from Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri (calf) and Nathaniel Clyne are the only other absentees for Liverpool. Replacing Henderson, though, will be the key decision for Klopp, with Naby Keita likely to get the nod for that spot.
Keita is likely to have Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum for company in the middle of the park, with Fabinho sitting at the base of the three-man midfield. Wijnaldum will be the workhorse in the midfield, while Keita will look to occupy advanced positions on the pitch to help out the attack.
As for the rest of the team, Klopp should name a strong lineup, with Liverpool’s next match being on Saturday. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will form the three-pronged attack once again.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson will continue in the back four, with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson providing much of the creativity as well. Alisson Becker is an automatic pick in goal, ahead of former West Ham United custodian Adrian.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
West Ham United
Like his counterpart in the Liverpool dugout, David Moyes will be without three first-team players when West Ham United take on the Premier League leaders. Andriy Yarmolenko is sidelined till next month due to a hamstring injury while Jack Wilshere (hernia) is sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The big blow, though, comes in the form of Ryan Fredericks’s injury, with the full-back out for the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury he sustained last week, when West Ham took on Manchester City. Meanwhile, Moyes could revert to a 4-1-4-1 formation against Liverpool, despite preferring the 5-4-1 against the bigger teams in the division.
The 5-4-1 has often rendered West Ham to be toothless in attack while still being suspect defensively. The change in formation, though, should help them pose a far greater threat. The direct result of the system change should see Arthur Masuaku drop out of the side, with Aaron Cresswell starting as the left-back.
On the opposite flank, Pablo Zabaleta will replace Fredericks, while Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna will pair up at the heart of the West Ham defence. Lukasz Fabianski will be the man between the sticks for the hosts. Up ahead in midfield, Declan Rice will play the Anchor Man role, with Mark Noble and Tomas Soucek providing the forward thrust in front of him.
Jarrod Bowen made a decent impression after coming off the bench against Manchester City and should be rewarded with a start. Bowen will be deployed on the right flank, with Michail Antonio starting on the left wing. Sebastien Haller will return to the starting lineup, leading the line for West Ham against Liverpool.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Fabianki; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Bowen, Soucek, Noble, Antonio; Haller
- Liverpool have won their last two home Premier League matches against West Ham United, scoring four goals in each of those games. West Ham have, in fact, won just one of their last 46 away league games against Liverpool, a 3-0 victory in August 2015 under Slaven Bilic; the Hammers have failed to score in 31 of those 46 games.
- West Ham have won just two of their last 41 away top-flight games against sides starting the day top of the table (D8 L31), beating Manchester United 1-0 in May 2007 and Manchester City 2-1 in September 2015.
- Liverpool have won their last 17 Premier League games, just one shy of the all-time English top-flight record set by Manchester City between August-December 2017 (18).
- David Moyes is yet to win an away match against Liverpool in all competitions, failing in 15 attempts (D7 L8) and losing the last three in a row with Manchester United, Sunderland and West Ham.
- Sadio Mane has been directly involved in seven goals in his last five Premier League appearances against West Ham (4 goals, 3 assists), scoring in each of his last three against the Hammers.
Player to Watch
Jordan Henderson’s injury threatens to put a spanner in the works for Liverpool. The Liverpool captain has been the difference maker in the middle of the park for the Reds this season and has been enjoying a fine season. However, with Jurgen Klopp & co. quite comfortable in the Premier League, the effects of Henderson’s absence could perhaps, be mitigated.
Nevertheless, Henderson will need replacing and now is the time for Naby Keita to step up. The Guinean has been in decent touch this term, but injuries have got the better of him often. Likely to get a run of games now, Keita now needs to make a definitive impression on Klopp to nail down his spot in the side. A big game against West Ham on an individual level for Keita.
Liverpool 2-0 West Ham United
Liverpool have not hit their stride since returning from the international break. The Reds were a bit off pace against Norwich City last weekend and continued to be sub-par at Atletico Madrid. However, they now have the perfect opportunity to bounce back, with the struggling West Ham United side up next.
David Moyes & co. look completely listless, with their attack posing little threat and defence being quite vulnerable. This should, then, ideally see Liverpool find their rhythm, although a slow start could be a possibility. All things considered, The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s men.