Venue – London Stadium, London
Referee – Jonathan Moss
Date & Time – Wednesday, January 29th @ 19:45
Current Odds – West Ham 15/2, Draw 9/2, Liverpool 1/3
On to London Stadium, one of the rare grounds where Liverpool dropped points last season. The club’s 19th league title success is now within touching distance. Yet, there is no time for complacency. Get the three points and move onto the next one.
West Ham Form
West Ham United are without a win in four games in all competitions. David Moyes’ return doesn’t seem to have done much in terms of revitalising the club’s form.
The Hammers are 17th in the Premier League, ahead of Bournemouth (18th) and Watford (19th) on goal difference only. They also were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday, losing 1-0 at home to Championship side West Bromwich Albion.
With one of the tougher remaining fixture schedules between now and May, West Ham could be about to endure a long and painful relegation battle.
Jurgen Klopp selected a Liverpool team of fringe players and youth talent for the FA Cup clash with Shrewsbury Town on Sunday. The Reds had to settle for a 2-2 draw in the end, meaning a replay will be played at Anfield at some stage over the next couple of weeks.
In the Premier League, Liverpool overcame their toughest test so far, winning 2-1 at Wolves last Thursday night. It was a fantastic game with Wolves really putting it up to Klopp’s Red machine.
The Reds need 9 more wins to secure the league title – that’s if City win all 14 of their remaining games. It’s important for Klopp’s men to keep the pedal to the floor. No relenting, just yet.
West Ham Team News
It’s certainly not getting any easier for David Moyes at London Stadium. A quick look at The Irons’ injury-list shows exactly what kind of task the team will have in retaining their Premier League status this season.
Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko, Ryan Fredericks, Felipe Anderson and Lukasz Fabianski are all ruled out for the Liverpool game. Robert Snodgrass and Arthur Masuaku could also miss Wednesday night’s game.
Moyes has been lining his team out in a 3-5-2 shape as of late. This will probably be the case against Liverpool too. The three-man backline can become five with the wing-backs – Zabaleta and Cresswell – dropping back when out of possession.
Liverpool’s defence has struggled in the past with Michail Antonio and he is likely to be their main danger-man again this week.
Liverpool Team News
Sadio Mané suffered an injury in the 2-1 win at Wolves last Thursday night. The Senegalese number 10 is expected to miss out on the trip to West Ham and possibly the Southampton game on Saturday too.
Nathaniel Clyne is still out while James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana will all undergo late fitness tests to decide if they can make the matchday squad on Wednesday.
Fabinho was given some much-needed game-time in the 2-2 FA Cup draw at Shrewsbury Town on Sunday. The Brazilian looked well off the pace but is likely to start again at London Stadium against West Ham.
With Mané out, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be asked to fill in on the left side of the front three, meaning the midfield is likely to be Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson.
West Ham XI (3-5-2) – Randolph; Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Cresswell; Haller, Antonio
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain
WHEN THEY LAST MET
West Ham United is the only Premier League side that Liverpool has not played yet this season. The sides meet again on February 24th at Anfield.
Last season, Liverpool drew 1-1 at West Ham. Sadio Mané gave Liverpool a first-half lead only for Michail Antonio to equalise just a few minutes later.
WEST HAM UNITED 0 – 2 LIVERPOOL
David Moyes’ Hammers are really struggling at the moment. Anything less than three points for Liverpool on Wednesday night would be hugely disappointing for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Liverpool to win, even without Sadio Mané.