Venue – London Stadium, London
Referee – Jonathan Moss
Date & Time – Sunday, January 31st @ 16:30
Current Odds – West Ham 10/3, Draw 3/1, Liverpool 3/4
That was more like it at Spurs, wasn’t it? Jürgen Klopp’s Mighty Redmen on the march again with another makeshift central defensive partnership. Trent was back though, as was Bobby. I know they never left but, at times, it seems like they were never really here either. Until Spurs on Thursday night. They were back and they were vibrant. What about Jordan Henderson though? Our captain just slotted in at centre-back against one of the best front pairings around in Kane and Son. He bossed it and then he took young Nat Phillips under his wing for the second half after Joël Matip went off injured too. Liverpool could have had four or five goals, truth be told. Or, if the officials were bound to the truth, more like. Anyway, onwards and upwards with another three points in London on Sunday, Reds.
West Ham Form
Only Manchester City are higher on the form table than West Ham. David Moyes’ side has won six consecutive games in all competitions and they are unbeaten in their last 8 matches.
On Tuesday night, West Ham came from behind to win 3-2 at Crystal Palace. That win moved West Ham into the top four of the Premier League.
Michail Antonio has hit a rich vein of form lately while Tomáš Soucek has proven to be one of the finds of the last 12 months. Soucek is The Hammers’ leading scorer with seven league goals from his position in midfield.
Jarrod Bowen is another West Ham player who isn’t afraid to take a defender on. Bowen has five goals and three assists in 20 league appearances this season.
What a joy that was to watch Liverpool on Thursday against Spurs. We saw glimpses of the side we have known and loved in recent years. Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool played with the freedom and attacking verve we have become accustomed to.
It was The Reds’ first Premier League win since that 7-0 victory at Crystal Palace. It was their first Premier League goal since December 27th. Could the tide be turning?
West Ham Team News
Arthur Masuaku is out for this game. Goalkeeper Darren Randolph will face a late fitness test to determine if he is available for squad selection.
David Moyes likes to use a 4-2-3-1 shape with this West Ham side and it should be more of the same on Sunday.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool are still without long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Diogo Jota and Naby Keïta are also unavailable but should be fit again in the next couple of weeks.
Joël Matip went off injured at half time and there were some early rumours that he had suffered a bad ankle injury. That rules him out for quite a long time then.
Thankfully, Jordan Henderson returned to full fitness and Kostas Tsimikas was also in the squad on Thursday night.
Fabinho missed the Spurs game with a minor muscle injury so it’s hoped he will be able to face West Ham.
Jürgen Klopp may opt to give Nat Phillips a start at the London Stadium alongside Fabinho in central defence. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will continue on the flanks while Alisson Becker will be in goal.
In midfield, Henderson may slot back into his ‘6’ role with Thiago Alcântara and Gini Wijnaldum ahead of him.
Expect the same front three again of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.
West Ham XI (4-2-3-1) – Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool have won seven and drawn one of their most recent 8 meetings with West Ham United.
Last season, Jurgen Klopp’s side beat The Hammers 2-0 at London Stadium thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah (penalty) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool won 2-1 at Anfield earlier this season. Pablo Fornals put the visitors ahead in the 10th minute but Salah equalised from the spot just before half time. Diogo Jota (remember him?) scored a late winner for The Reds.
WEST HAM 1 – 2 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool showed some great attacking flow against Spurs on Thursday. If The Reds can dish out more of the same it could be a rare defeat for the in-form Hammers. Whatever happens, I think Liverpool will take all three points from Sunday’s game.