By thrashing struggling Bournemouth 4-0 last time out, West Ham capped off a remarkable week in which they advanced to a European semifinal in style and opened up a six-point lead over the lowest three teams in the Premier League (PL) standings. Eight different players scored or assisted during David Moyes’ team’s performance, which was the most ever for the club in a Premier League game.
The Hammers are in excellent form as they head back to the London Stadium with just one loss in their past ten games across all competitions (W6, D3). Only two of West Ham’s last 20 games against teams who started the day in the top half ended in victory (D5, L13), so they’ll be aiming to win consecutive Premier League games for the second time this season when they welcome Liverpool.
The fact that Liverpool hasn’t lost in 12 of the last 13 head to head meetings (W10, D2), despite the fact that their lone setback came in this match up last year, makes that assignment all the more challenging. This H2H record is encouraging for manager Jürgen Klopp, who declared that, things have changed after his team won back to back Premier League games, most recently defeating Nottingham Forest 3-2.
The Reds had earlier celebrated their return to form with a convincing 6-1 victory away at Leeds, matching the number of goals they had scored in their previous 11 away games (W2, D2, L7). As a result, they have managed to get back into the race for a position in Europe, however there is still work to be done to salvage anything positive from the season given that they are presently sitting seventh in the standings.
Given that 13 of Jarrod Bowen’s past 14 goals have been scored at home, the devoted London Stadium supporters will be hoping for another Jarrod Bowen masterpiece. Diogo Jota, who has just scored a brace in his past two outings, will be aiming for more. It’s interesting to note that Luis Suárez was the last Liverpool player to score two or more goals in three straight Premier League games back in December 2013.
Recently, there hasn’t been much activity in the West Ham hospital, and Moyes should just be working without struggling striker Gianluca Scamacca while the Italian recovers from knee surgery. The Hammers’ manager acknowledged that he didn’t know much about what the procedure involved.
Danny Ings was forced to accept a substitute role against his former team after Angelo Ogbonna was declared fit to play against Bournemouth after recovering from a back injury he sustained in the first leg against Gent. Moyes should not see any reason to upset the harmony of a winning team.
Fornals, who scored three goals against Liverpool in the past, enjoys facing Liverpool more than any other Premier League team, and his spectacular finish against Bournemouth should give Moyes pause in the final third.
As for Liverpool, Klopp confirmed before the victory over Forest that Roberto Firmino would join Naby Keita, Stefan Bajcetic, and Calvin Ramsay (all with injuries) in missing the Reds’ next three games due to a muscular issue.
The Reds manager will therefore continue to use the same group of players from the tight victory over Forest, and despite Firmino’s absence, he is spoiled for choice up top as Darwin Nunez battles for a recall to the starting lineup.
As Klopp shouldn’t be able to demote Jota, who might now become the first Liverpool player to score three straight Premier League braces since Luis Suarez in 2013, the Uruguayan may get his wish in place of Cody Gakpo.
Possible starting lineup for West Ham United
Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Paqueta, Bowen, Antonio and Benrahma.
Possible starting lineup for Liverpool
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Jones, Fabinho, Henderson, Salah, Nunez and Jota.
We predict: West Ham United 2-2 Liverpool
An open and end to end contest should occur at the London Stadium with so much still on the line for two teams who have scored goals with relative ease recently, especially with Liverpool still prone to the occasional defensive slip up.
Clean sheets are unlikely to be on the menu, as they were in this match up last year, and we can envision West Ham holding out for a high scoring tie as Liverpool’s inconsistent play on the road persists.