After their 5-1 slaughter of Norwich on Wednesday night, Liverpool will be hoping for a similar result when they take on West Ham United at Anfield this weekend.
Luis Suarez scored four goals and got an assist to round off one of the best individual performances at Anfield in years against the Canaries, and so Sam Allardyce will have to make sure his defence are fully prepared for what the Uruguayan striker could bring to the game.
The visitors will be hoping to get back on track after losing to Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, a result made worse by Stewart Downing’s goal in the second half being disallowed by the referee. Based on Liverpool’s recent form at Anfield however, this will be a big challenge for the Hammers.
There are no new injury worries for Brendan Rodgers, although he will still have to make do without the services of Daniel Sturridge and Jose Enrique. Jon Flanagan will likely continue to deputise at left back in Enrique’s absence.
West Ham have a number of injuries to concern them. They will travel to Merseyside without Winston Reid, Ricardo Vaz Te, and Alou Diarra and of course, Andy Carroll who is still out for the foreseeable future. Allardyce will also be unable to call upon Ravel Morrison due to suspension, which will be a big blow to the team.
- Liverpool have played West Ham United on 125 occasions, winning 66 times. West Ham have won 24 times.
- The last time the two sides met at Anfield in April this year, the game ended in a goalless draw.
- Luis Suarez is currently the league’s highest goal scorer with 13 goals to his name. Ravel Morrison has the most at West Ham with three but is unavailable for selection.
- This will be Stewart Downing’s first game at Anfield since leaving the Reds in the summer.
Liverpool – Luis Suarez
Who else? The Uruguayan has been sensational since his return from suspension, scoring 13 goals in nine games. This averages out at a goal every 62 minutes and he has scored them from 26 shots on target. He has had 18 shots go astray, however, he still has a reasonably good shooting accuracy of 59%. He has converted 30% of his chances and has scored four of his clear-cut chances, missing three. This gives him a conversion rate of 57% in this area alone. Creatively, he has created 22 chances, 19 of which came from open play. He also has two assists to his name as well. Looking at these stats, it’s no surprise that Suarez is currently one of the best players in the Premier League. I wouldn’t be surprised if West Ham have at least two defenders on him at all times.
West Ham United – Stewart Downing
Admittedly, Ravel Morrison would have been my choice for West Ham had he not been suspended. However, Stewart Downing can be an influential player for his team. He has created 27 chances for his team mates, 19 of which have come from open play. It has only resulted in one assist for him however, although this is more a reflection of West Ham’s difficulties scoring this season. This all means he is creating a chance every 33 minutes. He still has the same trouble with crossing the ball as he did at Liverpool, being accurate with only 30 from 102 attempts, giving him a crossing accuracy of 29%. It’s not surprising to see that Downing has been most active in the attacking zone of the park, completing 216 of 335 passes. He has also completed 108 of 145 passes in the final third, giving him an accuracy of 74%. West Ham fans will surely be hoping that Downing will use his Anfield return as a means of inspiring the side to victory.
I’ve not been right with many of my predictions so far this season but then it has been a strange season all round! In this game though, I think Liverpool have the advantage over West Ham. The visitors are missing their best player in Morrison and aren’t on the best run of form. If Suarez has another game like the one against Norwich, then the Reds will win. I think it will finish 2-0 to Liverpool.