West Ham v Liverpool – The Preview
After an eventful Champions League week, Liverpool head south to face a very impressive West Ham side this Sunday afternoon. With the Hammers sat a comfortable 4th position in the league, David Moyes continues to show what an incredible job he is doing. As the season enters match week 11, this game sits as a real test for both managers who have high hopes for the season.
Last weekend saw West Ham take Aston Villa apart in a 1-4 away win, and their own structure is proving to be one of the strongest in the division. With a potent front four of Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals, this quartet will offer a huge challenge to the reds backline. The midfield will once again consist of the superb pair of Declan Rice and Tomas Souchek, and will be an area where match control will hinge. Kurt Zouma is continuing to prove shrewd business, and his defensive partnership with Angelo Ogbonna is maturing nicely. The fullback area is perhaps the area where Liverpool will look to exploit most, as Aaron Creswell and Ben Johnson will most certainly have their hands full.
Liverpool will want to regain some momentum in the league, and last weekends draw at home to Brighton will surely see changes made. The backline will be marshalled by Virgil Van Dijk, with either Joel Matip keeping his place, or Ibrahima Konate returning to the starting line up. Trent Alexander Arnold will be looking to continue his tremendous form, and his roving ability (from the right) will be where Klopp will want to see most creativity. Andy Robertson will be hoping to be recalled after a rest in the week. The attack should see Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane start once more, with Roberto Firmino suffering a hamstring injury versus Atletico Madrid.
An impressive midfield performance against Madrid should see Fabinho start once more, with Thiago Alcantara primed to make a long awaited start. The final midfield position could see the revitalised Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain start, with Jordan Henderson having played two full matches in the last week. The midfield is a key area for both sides, and West Ham will certainly feel they can assert a level of control. A pairing of Fabinho and Thiago will be a welcome plus for Klopp, though both will continue to have their minutes managed.
The styles of each side will make for an enthralling tactical battle, with West Ham likely to adopt a counter attacking system. The high line of Liverpool will be tested to the maximum, and a battle between Michel Antonio and Virgil Van Dijk could be the highlight. Liverpool will be looking to overpower the home side with varying attacking patterns of play, and it will surely be the strongest rear guard that decides the result.
Liverpool have to look for maximum points, and will be the team most under pressure to win. West Ham can continue their great form, knowing that chances on the break will come. With Mohamed Salah continuing to show world class levels of play, he could make the difference between the two sides.
Player to watch – Thiago Alcantara
West Ham 1 – 2 Liverpool