Liverpool host West Ham United in the fourth round of the FA Cup. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Reds’ FA Cup triumph over the same opponents in the final of the competition in spectacular fashion as Steven Gerrard scored an absolute screamer in the dying embers of the game.
However, things have changed aplenty in 10 years. Liverpool have lost to West Ham twice this season already, once under Brendan Rodgers and then under Jurgen Klopp. Saturday gives them a great chance at avenging the two defeats.
West Ham meanwhile should be in a confident mood ahead of facing the Reds. They have lost just once in their last 11 matches in all competitions and have the ability to sweep Liverpool aside as they march towards silverware.
Klopp is not expected to change too much from the side that he fielded against Stoke. It is unsure whether Nathaniel Clyne, who suffered from a minor knock before the Capital One Cup Semi-Final, will be able to come back for this game. Jon Flanagan will likely continue in his place. Dejan Lovren was back on the bench against Stoke and could return in place of Kolo Toure at the back. The Croatian displayed good form before getting injured and would hope he can repeat some of those solid performances once again. Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi are closer to returning but will not be available just yet. Christian Benteke might come and lead the line as Roberto Firmino will be given a breather with the Brazilian’s services needed up-front against league leaders Leicester on Tuesday.
West Ham United
Andy Carroll scored against Liverpool recently but will be out for another 10 days with a hamstring problem. Attackers Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini are also sidelined with injury issues. Carl Jenkinson is also injured. James Tomkins, Mark Noble and Michail Antonio are in contention for the game.
Emre Can (Liverpool)
The German has recently been undergoing a bit of a poor spell. He also was the only Liverpool player to miss a penalty in the shootout against Stoke, which surely would have hurt him. However, the German realises the dip in form and has also acknowledged he has to add goals and more output to his game considering he is playing in midfield. He will have the responsibility of keeping the midfield ticking and orchestrating play along with making sure his defence also gets some cover.
Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
Payet returned from a long injury against Liverpool and it was as if he never went away. The Frenchman displayed such quality as he made a seamless return to the thick of things. He has been heavily involved in West Ham’s attacks since and has time and again shown how the Hammers secured a major coup when they landed him. He has hurt Liverpool already this season and will be the visitor’s key man as they look to reach the next stage of the competition.
- West Ham’s win at Anfield earlier this season was their first since 1963
- West Ham have never beaten the Reds in six previous FA Cup meetings, the most recent of which was the 2006 final.
- The last Liverpool player to score a hattrick against the Hammers was Fernando Torres at Anfield in March 2008.
- Slaven Bilic has won three of his four meetings with Liverpool as a manager. He was in charge of the Besiktas team that knocked Liverpool out of the Europa League last season on penalties, after Liverpool won 1-0 at Anfield in the previous leg.