Slaven Bilic has never lost to Liverpool as West Ham manager, with three victories and a draw in four fixtures last season in both league and the FA Cup after winning at Anfield for the first time since 1963 with a 3-0 win last August. Jurgen Klopp’s side will be desperate to bounce back after last weekend’s defeat at Bournemouth but West Ham will also be out to prove a point with the Croatian manager under increasing pressure.
Liverpool lost just their second game of the season last weekend at Dean Court as Bournemouth turned around a 3-1 lead for the Reds into a 4-3 defeat, following on from a 2-0 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor in August. At Anfield, the Reds have been in imperial form with an average of over three goals scored per game, with two of their three clean sheets this campaign also coming at home and had not conceded for three games in a row before last weekend’s loss.
The Hammers have conceded 13 goals in their last four games and are without a win in six games in a row. Heavy defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal have dented confidence massively when the side were already down but the Irons can take hope from the fact that they have at least scored in their last five games and will be going to Anfield believing that they can beat a shaky Liverpool backline.
Liverpool predicted starting XI West Ham predicted starting XI
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Liverpool are expected to welcome back Joel Matip after last weekend’s disastrous defensive collapse against Bournemouth, and Adam Lallana is also expected to come in at the expense of Georgino Wijnaldum after he has returned to full fitness. The front three will retain their places after Divock Origi has continued to impress.
West Ham will select Andy Carroll from the start for just the second time this season against his former club, with Aaron Cresswell also set for a return at the ground where he dreamed of making a breakthrough after coming through the club’s academy. Cheikou Kouyate and Michail Antonio are also likely to return.
Suspensions and Injuries
Daniel Sturridge is expected to miss out for the Reds with a calf injury, but Jurgen Klopp has been boosted by the news that Joel Matip and Sadio Mane should be fit enough to return to the first team with ankle and muscle injuries respectively, with both expected to start. Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings remain long term injuries.
West Ham remain without a number of key players and James Collins will now be added to that list after he limped off with a hamstring strain against Arsenal. Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou Kouyate and Michail Antonio all have groin injuries but could come into contention should they progress well in their returns to training at the end of this week. Sam Byram, Sofiane Feghouli and Gokhan Tore are all nearing returns from hamstring and thigh problems but this match may come just too soon for them. Diafra Sakho will be out until January with his hamstring issue.
Liverpool should have the quality to blow this West Ham side away. The Hammers have been appalling defensively in recent weeks and conceded five against Arsenal last weekend. Whilst they may be out to prove a point this time around, it’s hard to think beyond a convincing Liverpool win.
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