Liverpool welcome West Ham United to Anfield on Saturday on matchday four of the Barclays Premier League. While many might be enthused by the club’s performance in the first three games, let’s admit that the results were chalked out at the mercy of the referee and linesman. On the other hand, West Ham began the new season on a high note with an emphatic win over Arsenal at Emirates. However, with losses against Leicester and Bournemouth in back-to-back home games, West Ham have drained the confidence acquired on the first day of the season.
It remains to be seen if Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will return to the starting line-up after sitting out of the Arsenal game with a foot injury. On the other hand, it has been confirmed that Joe Allen (Hamstring), Adam Lallana (Hip/Thigh), Jon Flanagan (Knee) and Daniel Sturridge (Hip/Thigh) are out until at least mid September as they recover from their respective injuries. We expect manager Brendan Rodgers to stick with the team that drew at the Emirates.
West Ham United
West Ham have some injury worries as they are without a host of their strikers as Enner Valencia (Knee), Andy Carroll (MCL Knee Ligament) and Zarate (Hamstring) are all missing with injuries. Kevin Nolan has left the club on mutual consent and this miht force manager Slaven Bilic into bringing a semi-fit and troubled striker Sakho into the starting line up. Reece Oxford, who had a terrific debut against Arsenal is expected to recover in time from a knock to make the trip to the Merseyside. With Jenkinson joining the already suspended Adrian on the side lines, the manager will need to tinker his line up in the coming game.
- Of the 116 matches between the two sides in all competitions, Liverpool have won 61 games while West Ham have won just 24 games.
- West Ham have managed to win just 3 of the games they have played at Anfield, with their last victory at Anfield coming in the 1963-64 season.
Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Can, Lucas, Milner, Coutinho, Firmino, Benteke
West Ham United
Randolph, Ogbonna, Reid, Cresswell, O’Brien, Kouyate, Obiang, Jarvis, Payet, Noble, Sakho
After steadying the flailing ship at Stoke and at Anfield in the first 2 games with appearances in the second half, Emre Can was rewarded with a start in the middle of the park against Arsenal. While that was a direct result of Henderson picking up an injury, Can put in a solid performance to justify Rodgers’ decision to put him in the middle of the park. He was his usual self in the game, often driving the team forward with his passing and movement. In the attacking half of the pitch, he created 2 chances in either of the halves. His defensive contribution adds mettle to this Liverpool side as was evident in the performance of the team with him in it.
The Frenchman began life in England with the assist for Kouyate’s goal against Arsenal in what was possibly the biggest upset of the opening day fixtures. He did not have to wait long for his first Premier League goal as he scored against Leicester in the following match. The attacking midfielder leads the chances created charts for his new club and will need to add to that figure against the Reds. With the likes of Emre Can, James Milner and specialist defensive midfielder Lucas hovering in his horizon, Payet might find it hard to operate. However, an experience performer will need to break down the Liverpool midfield with an overall performance for his team to stand a chance in the game.
Liverpool have the momentum going into this game. A weakened West Ham doesn’t look like the side to push them to limits. We expect Liverpool to register a comfortable 2-0 victory in the game.