Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 2/9
The Premier League returns this weekend for yet another massive round of games that will only add to the drama of the world’s most competitive league. Liverpool have been incredibly entertaining this year as they have been proving that they have one of the world’s best-attacking lines, and they take on a West Ham side that have been improving over the course of the season.
This season could yet prove to be a hugely successful one for Liverpool if they can maintain their current trajectory. After 27 games they have been able to claim 15 wins, while they have drawn nine times and lost three games. Impressively they have been beaten the fewest times this season bar Manchester City, showing that they have been incredibly difficult to beat. While Manchester City have eclipsed everyone else with their outstanding performances, it would be foolish to ignore Liverpool when talking about the league’s best attacks. The Reds have been able to net 61 goals this season, with their front three all firing in goals. Mohamed Salah has netted 22 goals, while Roberto Firmino (12) and Sadio Mane (seven) have also chipped in, and Salah has been proving that he is one of the signings of the season so far with superb performances capped off by sublime goals. As usual, though, the Reds have been undermined by their less-than-stellar defence. Liverpool have conceded 31 times in the league this season, the most of any team in the top-five. Jurgen Klopp’s men have always been about scoring a lot of goals and blowing teams away, but if they are to progress and compete in the Champions League this season, and the Premier League next year, then they must strengthen their backline.
Nathaniel Clyne (back) is the only player Jurgen Klopp cannot call upon this weekend.
West Ham have been enjoying a far better season under David Moyes as the London side have been able to climb up the table and away from the relegation zone. After 27 matches they have won seven, drawn nine and lost 11, scoring 34 goals and conceding 46 times. The Hammers were flirting with danger earlier in the season as they spent far too much time in and around the relegation zone. However, they seem to be far more compact at the back following the appointment of Moyes, which has given their forwards more to work with. In their last five they have managed to pick up two wins and two draws along with a single defeat. The Hammers currently sit on 30 points, four clear of Southampton in 18th-place. While their position in the table is more comfortable than it might have been, they are not out of danger yet, with a strong end to the campaign needed. Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic (both seven goals) have been the main men for West Ham when going forward, but they need more support with regard to goalscoring as Moyes’ team are missing a 20 goals a season striker. While they have been fairly weak in front of goal this season, they will get their chances against Liverpool, who are not particularly impressive at the back. However, the Hammers are worse in defence, and Liverpool’s frontlinwillil relish the opportunity to run at their opponent’s backline.
Winston Reid is struggling with a throat infection, while Pedro Obiang and Andy Carroll remain out. Manuel Lanzini is expected to return for the game, while Arthur Masuaku is still out after receiving a six-game ban for spitting.
Liverpool have beaten West Ham 4-0 and 4-1 in their last two Premier League matches.
David Moyes has not ever beaten Liverpool at Anfield having drawn seven times and lost seven times.
Liverpool have scored 61 goals this season, in comparison to West Ham’s 34.
Neither side has been overly impressive at the back, with Liverpool conceding 31 goals and West Ham shipping 46 goals.
Liverpool have won 26 of the 46 encounters between the two sides, with West Ham winning 10 matches, and the other 10 ending in a draw.
West Ham will arrive at Anfield looking to stay tight at the back before breaking on Liverpool as they seek to pick holes in their defence. The Reds will dominate the game and see a lot of the ball, but this has not always transferred into goals for Klopp’s men, who have been guilty of struggling against teams they should beat. However, following their 5-0 hammering of Porto in their last game, confidence will be very high.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 2/9
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