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West Ham vs Liverpool: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

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Liverpool travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham on Sunday afternoon in a match which could have huge implications in the race for top four. A win here for the Reds could see them clinch a Champions League place, depending on the results of Manchester United and Arsenal’s games, marking a fairly successful second season for Jurgen Klopp and his team.

Recent form

With the Hammers already safe and having secured a mid-table finish, the London side have had very little to play for and their form shows that. They are unbeaten in five, however, but three of these have been draws. Slaven Bilic will have been very pleased with his side’s attitude and performance in their last game against Tottenham though, effectively ending Spurs title hopes with a 1-0 victory.

As for Liverpool, they are looking very shaky as the season draws to a close. In recent fixtures against Stoke, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Watford and Southampton they have not looked their best. They suffered a very disappointing 2-1 loss to Palace at Anfield and two weeks later were only able to grab a point against Southampton at home.

Jurgen Klopp needs to inject some confidence into his players if they are to see out the season, finishing in the top four and, most crucially, bring back Champions League football back to Anfield.

Predicted line-ups

Team news

West Ham will be without midfield pair Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate, with both expected to miss the remaining games of the season through injury. The pair will be added to the Hammers’ lengthy injury list which includes the likes of Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio.

As for the Reds, Adam Lallana is expected to start having overcome a recent thigh injury. Despite claims from the Liverpool manager this week that midfielder Jordan Henderson could return before the end of the season, it is difficult seeing him return to the side here. Of course, the Reds will be without main man Sadio Mane who after sustaining a knee injury, was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Match Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Liverpool

If the Hammers play in a similar manner to how they did against Spurs, Liverpool could be in for a really tough game on Sunday afternoon. The Merseyside club have struggled against the West Ham in recent seasons and could see this trend continue at the weekend. Both teams will come away with something, however, a point each in what will be a physical and competitive encounter.

Liverpool

Liverpool missing out on Yerry Mina looks a mistake after World Cup showing

Liverpool had been linked with a loan move for Mina but he looks set for Real Betis.

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this summer Liverpool were linked with the loan move of Barcelona defender Yerry Mina. Back in May, it seemed as though he was definitely Anfield bound. As reported by talkSPORT, a TV presenter in Spain had suggested his loan move to Liverpool for the season was done.

That, of course, did not prove to be the case. Now, it is suggested the Liverpool target is going elsewhere. The Colombian is, according to reports, off to Real Betis. As reported by El Desmarque, the La Liga side are on the cusp of completing a loan deal for the player which will include an option to buy at the end of the season.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Based on the evidence of last night at the World Cup, Liverpool are definitely missing out.

Mina, who cost Barca £10.5 million in January, put in a fantastic display for Colombia against Poland in Russia yesterday. Brought in to replace Valencia’s Jeison Murillo the youngster formed a fantastic partnership with Tottenham Hotspur youngster Davinson Sanchez at the heart of defence for Colombia.

Fast, strong and imposing in the air the 23-year-old looked every inch the Premier League defender.

He even found his way onto the scoresheet. He excellently nodded home James Rodriguez’s beautiful lofted cross to give Colombia the lead.

What Liverpool fans saw was the perfect option to provide a challenge to Dejan Lovren for the partnership with Virgil van Dijk. Unfortunately, it seems he will be heading elsewhere.

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Fans still divided on Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson despite excellent England showing

Jordan Henderson was excellent for England again but the Liverpool man struggles to win over fans.

Mathew Nash

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There are always players among the England national team that seem to divide opinion. Right now, Jordan Henderson appears to be that player. The Liverpool captain is continuously criticised for his performances by fans of both England and Liverpool.

The main criticism is that Henderson is too negative. He is always looking to play the ball backwards or sideways and never forward. Henderson is limited in ability, negative in style and a waste of a shirt number. That is often the criticism.

Others completely disagree. Henderson is the pendulum of the Liverpool and England team. He sets a tempo from midfield and is always available as an out ball. He does play forward passes, often in behind defences to test them and move territory into the opposition third.

These are the fans who believe Henderson has come on leaps and bounds under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage at Liverpool.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Based on his form so far at the World Cup, those people are right. Henderson was brilliant against Tunisia in the opening game. He was even better today, as England swept aside Panama 6-1.

Henderson put in a fantastic display for 90 minutes, covering more ground than any other player in sizzling heat. He was often positive in his passing and showed his natural leadership qualities, even if Harry Kane wears the armband.

But once again, fans are divided. It seems Henderson may always be ‘that’ player for England. The easy one to blame, the scapegoat.

Unless he can carry on his excellent form and bring ‘it’ home. Then fans will have to love the Liverpool star…

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Liverpool should be glad to have missed out on goalkeeper Andriy Lunin

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Photo: Getty Images.

After Champions League final calamity, the general consensus seemed to be that Liverpool would target a goalkeeper as one of their top priorities this summer. To date, that has not proven to be the case.

The Mirror say that the Reds made a last ditch attempt to sign 19-year-old Andriy Lunin from Zorya Luhansk, only for the Ukrainian international to instead go ahead and join, of all people, the side who so cruelly highlighted Lorius Karius’ weaknesses in the Champions League final in Kiev – Real Madrid.

Liverpool fans may be left cursing their luck at missing out on a target, but they should be seeing the missed opportunity as a blessing in disguise.

There can be no doubt that Lunin is a talented player. After all, an international with two years of first team experience yet to celebrate his 20th birthday is a rare find.

A dominant presence in the box and accomplished with the ball at his feet, Lunin has many attributes to become one of the best around in only a short while.

(Photo credit should read ROBERT HENRIKSSON/AFP/Getty Images)

But the truth is that Liverpool need an improvement in goal immediately. Lunin lacks the experience or the quality to do that, so it is hard to see what role he would have if he had moved to Anfield this summer.

One option is that he would have served as back-up, potentially replacing Simon Mignolet, and playing cup competitions whilst Loris Karius remains number one until Lunin is ready. Whilst a nice idea, it does not resolve a problem position for at least another two to three seasons and Karius’ Liverpool career could be in a vastly different position in that time.

Equally, with Karius, Mignolet, Danny Ward and even Adam Bogdan all under contract, it is hard to imagine that the Reds would bring Lunin in alongside another goalkeeper to act as a new number one. If so, it would be some substantial turnaround, the kind that Jurgen Klopp has been keen to avoid.

Now, Liverpool fans may feel disappointed to have missed out, but if it brings a stark improvement in goal come the end of the transfer window in August, it could well be worth the wait.

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