Thursday, May 23, 2024

Prediction: West Ham vs Liverpool

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: 888sport

Liverpool, still feeling the sting of their gut-wrenching derby defeat earlier in the week, will strive to reignite their feeble Premier League title hopes as they journey to the London Stadium to take on West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, West Ham are also aiming to bounce back from their recent disappointments, having suffered defeats in their last two top-flight fixtures against Fulham and Crystal Palace.

West Ham

West Ham finds themselves in a slump following a disappointing run of form that has derailed their season, managing just one win in their last seven Premier League games.

After a comeback victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, the Hammers suffered consecutive defeats against Fulham and Crystal Palace, with the latter inflicting a heavy 5-2 loss at Selhurst Park last weekend.

Facing a clinical Eagles side, West Ham conceded three goals within the opening 20 minutes and then conceded a fourth in the 31st minute. Jean-Philippe Mateta added a fifth just after the hour mark, resulting in West Ham’s 12th league defeat of the season, and the goals the Hammers scored through Michail Antonio and Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson placing the ball in his own net brought little joy.

Manager David Moyes expressed feeling “embarrassed and disappointed” after the “atrocious” defeat. The loss leaves them sitting in eighth place, two points behind seventh-place Newcastle, who have a game in hand. Furthermore, they’ve slipped five points behind sixth-place Manchester United following the Red Devils’ recent victory over Sheffield United.

The Hammers go into Saturday’s clash with just one win in their last eight league games at home. After a 2-0 loss to Fulham in their most recent match at the London Stadium, they aim to avoid suffering consecutive home losses for the first time since November/December 2022.

However, defeating Liverpool poses a considerable challenge for West Ham, as they’ve suffered 12 defeats in their last 14 Premier League meetings with the Reds, losing each of their last five encounters since a 3-2 home victory in November 2021.

Team News

West Ham will be optimistic about having star attacker Jarrod Bowen available for selection after he missed last weekend’s loss at Palace due to a back problem. Additionally, Nayef Aguerd and Konstantinos Mavropanos, both recovering from ankle injuries, will be assessed ahead of kickoff.

Alphonse Areola, who was fit enough to make the substitutes’ bench last time out after recovering from a groin injury, is expected to replace Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks on Saturday. Manager David Moyes may also consider changes in defence and midfield.

Both Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell will be eager to secure spots in the starting lineup, while midfielder Kalvin Phillips could also push for inclusion. Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez are likely to retain their places just behind James Ward-Prowse. In attack, Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus are set to provide support for Antonio.

Liverpool

Following Arsenal’s resounding 5-0 triumph over Chelsea on Tuesday, Liverpool faced pressure to deliver a positive response against Merseyside rivals Everton to stay within striking distance of the Premier League leaders.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a deserved 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park on Wednesday, with Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin finding the net to bring victory for the Blues. This result marked Liverpool’s second league defeat in three matches, dealing a huge blow to their title aspirations.

Captain Virgil van Dijk surprisingly questioned the commitment of his teammates following the loss, while Klopp acknowledged that his team’s performance fell short, apologizing for their subpar display. The German manager also acknowledged that Liverpool’s title hopes now hinge on potential crisis for Manchester City and Arsenal.

With four matches remaining, Liverpool currently occupy the second spot in the Premier League standings, trailing leaders Arsenal by three points. However, reigning champions Manchester City sit third with two games in hand, including an upcoming fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, and have the race in their hands.

Meanwhile, most recent reports suggest that Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is being considered to succeed Klopp at Anfield in the summer.

Liverpool will face West Ham on Saturday, a team they have already defeated twice this season across all competitions, winning 3-1 in the league in September and securing a convincing 5-1 victory in the EFL Cup three months later.

Under Klopp’s guidance, Liverpool have won 12 Premier League games against West Ham, second only to their 13 victories against Crystal Palace. However, this season mark the 11th campaign in which Liverpool have faced the Hammers three or more times, and they have never managed to secure three wins against them on any of the previous ten occasions.

Team News

Diogo Jota (hip), Conor Bradley (foot), Thiago Alcantara (muscle), Joel Matip, and Ben Doak (all knee) remain sidelined as they continue their recovery from injury.

Cody Gakpo missed the midweek defeat at Everton due to personal reasons, and his availability for Saturday’s match remains uncertain.

Despite notable dips in form, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez are expected to retain their places in attack alongside Luis Diaz, having both found the net in the reverse league fixture at Anfield.

Conclusion

Victory is crucial for both of these struggling clubs as they aim to bolster their chances of reaching their season’s goals. However, Liverpool will be considered favorites heading into Saturday’s match, given their recent dominance over West Ham.

While the Hammers possesses the attacking prowess to trouble the six-time European champions, particularly if Jarrod Bowen is fit to return, it stands to reason to expect Klopp’s side to find a way to raise their performance and secure maximum points at the London Stadium.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 8/15

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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