Liverpool will be looking to make this match their 3rd win on the trot as the push for Top Four continues. With West Ham in freefall and the future of Slaven Bilic in doubt, this may be the prime time to play the Hammers – who reside in 16th.
Off the back of almost identical games against Huddersfield and Maribor, the respective 3-0 home wins have boosted confidence tenfold, silencing the doubters of Klopp’s methods to some extent.
Last Meeting: West Ham 0-4 Liverpool (14th May 2017)
A four-goal demolition at the Olympic Stadium was a huge boost for Liverpool’s Top Four hopes at the time – with Philippe Coutinho the star of the show. The tricky Brazilian found the back of the net twice on the day, as well as assisting for the opening goal finished by Daniel Sturridge.
The first of Coutinho’s goals was a driven shot from outside the box, the second a mazy run followed by an astute finish. The match was pivotal to his development, having been deployed out wide for most of the season – Klopp’s decision to move him into the centre of the park proved to be pivotal in recording a vital win.
West Ham have had a dismal start to the season, struggling for wins and clean sheets in particular. A 1-0 win over Swansea was the last clean sheet the Hammers recorded, with Slaven Bilic’s days at the club evidently numbered. West Ham have looked unorganised this season, both offensively and defensively, stemming from a manager void of ideas.
Last time out, West Ham drew painfully to bottom of the table Crystal Palace – who equalised the game in 96th minute through Zaha. Having dominated for the duration of the match, West Ham failed to see the match out in what would have felt like a loss for fans and players alike.
The Key Battle: Mohammed Salah vs Joe Hart
Having already scored ten times for the Reds in all competitions – Mo Salah is looking like the best piece of business the reds have done in years. Harking back to the days of Luis Suarez, fans expect something to happen every time he gets the ball – speaking of, since the Uruguayan’s departure, Salah is our 10th top scorer, with Coutinho top on 14 goals; which he looks set to surpass with ease.
Meanwhile, Joe Hart has made multiple high profile errors in a West Ham shirt, which will have Salah licking his lips. With the home side also burdened with defensive injuries, it could be a field day for the Egyptian who has injected both pace and goals into this Liverpool side.
Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Nathaniel Clyne are getting closer to making a return, but none will start this match. The most notable absence will be Philippe Coutinho, who will play no part in this fixture – the same for Gini Wijnaldum who suffered an ankle injury against Maribor in mid-week.
As for West Ham, Jose Fonte and James Collins will be absent through injury – while Pablo Zabaleta is suspended for this clash. Michail Antonio recurring rib injury will rule the England international out of this match also.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Milner, Can, Chamberlain, Firmino; Salah.
West Ham: Hart, Rice, Ogbonna, Reid, Cresswell, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini, Ayew, Arnautovic, Hernandez.
Prediction: West Ham 2-3 Liverpool