Anything but victory unthinkable for Klopp’s Reds – West Ham vs. Liverpool Preview

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Liverpool visit West Ham on Sunday afternoon, with three points for Jurgen Klopp‘s side vital in their quest for a top-four finish.

West Ham vs. Liverpool

Sunday, May 14, 2017 – 2:15pm (BST)
London Stadium
Premier League
Referee: Neil Swarbrick

You will both know it yourself and been told it a thousand times by now – Liverpool are incapable of doing things the easy way.

Last weekend’s drab 0-0 at home to Southampton could end up being so fatal in the Champions League battle, with Arsenal circling like vultures all of a sudden.

There is every chance the Gunners will be just a point adrift by the time Sunday’s visit to West Ham gets underway, heaping huge pressure on Klopp’s men.

On paper, Liverpool should have too much for their opponents, who have little to play for this season.

But the Hammers’ 1-0 win over Tottenham in their last outing may have breathed new life into them, and they’ve kept four clean sheets in their last five games.

Liverpool’s form has not been impressive for some time, and they may have to yet again grind out an away win, as was the case at Stoke City, West Brom and Watford recently.

If they fail to finish in the top-four now it will be a devastating blow, but destiny is still very much in their own hands.

Two wins out of two will be enough and they have the quality to win both, especially if Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge come into the team.

Last meeting: Liverpool 2-2 West Ham

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 7, 2017: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has a few selection headaches, especially in attack.

Divock Origi‘s poor form could see him relegated to the bench, with Sturridge’s impressive recent cameos giving him a chance of starting.

Roberto Firmino may miss out with a muscle injury that Klopp says he has struggled with for a couple of weeks, and Lucas Leiva is also a doubt.

Adam Lallana is expected to come in, with his influence such a miss in recent weeks and months.

The goalkeeper and back four picks itself, but Liverpool will be hoping for more from their slightly out-of-form full-backs, Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner.

Former Red Andy Carroll is out for the hosts with an adductor strain – we can all breath a huge sigh of relief about Carroll coming back to haunt us – and captain Mark Noble is also unavailable.

Cheikhou Kouyate is missing, following a wrist operation on Tuesday, while Angelo Ogbonna, Michail Antonio, Diafra Sakho and Pedro Obiang are out, too.

 

London Stadium

General view of the stadium during day two of the Muller Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2016. See PA story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial Use only, Any commercial use to be approved by British Athletics. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

Capacity: 57,000

Away fans’ pubs: The Longthorne, Ye Olde Black Bull and the Queens Head in the high street close to the station.

“In Westfield shopping centre itself, you have Cafe Football and the Cow pub, but the stadium would much prefer you to drink inside the ground. It opens two hours before kick-off,” West Ham fan Sean Whetstone (@westhamfootball) told This is Anfield.

“Heineken have purchased the pouring rights for the stadium and away supporters can enjoy some other beers and ciders including Amstel, Fosters, Birra Moretti, Bulmers and Strongbow.

“Draft and bottles will be available throughout the concourse area. There are also two real ales named Iron Ale and Boleyn Bitter available.”

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 7, 2017: Liverpool's James Milner sees his penalty kick saved against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 0-0 vs. Southampton
Won 1-0 vs. Watford
Lost 2-1 vs. Crystal Palace
Won 1-0 vs. West Brom
Won 2-1 vs. Stoke City

West Ham – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 1-0 vs. Tottenham
Drew 0-0 vs. Stoke
Drew 0-0 vs. Everton
Drew 2-2 vs. Sunderland
Won 1-0 vs. Swansea

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking at Melwood prior to Sunday’s clash, Klopp discussed the availability of Lallana and Sturridge:

“These two players are now options,” Klopp said.

Adam Lallana I think after the Watford game, when he came in early, he felt the 70 minutes and we had to manage the intensity in training.

“After coming back from an injury, if you could play 90 minutes immediately that would be perfect, but the real match is too intense.

“He was an option, but not for starting. Now it’s another situation and now it means we have two other options.”

 

TV & Live Blog Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The match is live on Sky Sports 1, and is sandwiched between Hull City‘s trip to Crystal Palace and Spurs’ visit of Man United. Kick-off is at 2:15pm (BST).

Our matchday live blog will be running from 1:30pm, with Henry Jackson in the chair this week. Tune in for minute-by-minute updates before and during the game.

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