Resilient Reds have Anfield record in sight – Liverpool vs. West Ham Preview

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A Liverpool side with growing injury concerns have a fourth successive victory on top of the agenda as West Ham come to town on Saturday evening in the Premier League.

Liverpool vs. West Ham

Saturday, October 31, 2020 – 5.30pm (GMT)
Anfield
Premier League (7)
Referee: Kevin Friend


It’s been one hell of a week for those of the Liverpool persuasion but, thankfully, worries over personnel have been eased by three wins on the bounce across all competitions.

The latest of which saw the Reds set solid foundations in Group D of the Champions League, with the 2-0 win over Midtjylland ensuring Jurgen Klopp‘s side sit atop of their table with a 100 percent record.

But it came at a cost with yet another injury striking the centre-back ranks, this time with Fabinho. It has created a selection headache for the boss with the Hammers to provide a physical battle.

It feels like Liverpool can hardly catch a break but a win over West Ham will provide yet another morale boost in what has been a relentless season to date.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 24, 2020: West Ham United's Michail Antonio during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It will be anything but straightforward, however, with David Moyes’ side high on confidence after extending their unbeaten league run to four after a 1-1 draw with Man City.

A comeback from 3-0 down at Tottenham to salvage a draw coupled with a 3-0 win over Leicester in their last three ensures they will sniff an opportunity to threaten Liverpool’s 62-game unbeaten streak at Anfield.

Avoid defeat here and Liverpool will match the 63-game Anfield league unbeaten run set by Bob Paisley’s men between 1978 and 1981.

The Reds have been anything but convincing in recent games but they have proved time and time again that their elite mentality can drag them over the line and they will need to dig deep here once more.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 27, 2020: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' walks off injured during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another game and another injury came in midweek and it leaves Klopp with a selection dilemma in the heart of defence as Fabinho‘s absence with a hamstring strain left Joe Gomez as the sole senior option.

Joel Matip remains a source of frustration with a mystery injury sustained at Goodison Park keeping him out of the squad for the last three games.

Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams and Jordan Henderson are the candidates to partner Gomez, with the Brazilian to be out of action “slightly longer” than this weekend.

For Thiago and Naby Keita, it is a case of “we will see” as Klopp resisted ruling either in or out of the game.

Kostas Tsimikas remains the only notable absentee alongside the long-term duo in Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp walk back to the dressing room at full time after an injury time winning goal was disallowed following a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The front three all started from the bench against Midtjylland which suggests they will return straight back into the fold for this one, with Mohamed Salah having shown no ill effects of the late challenge on his heel in midweek.

Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino, Xherdan Shaqiri, Curtis Jones and James Milner remain valuable options for the Reds either from the off or from the bench.

For the Hammers, meanwhile, they were dealt a blow with the in-form Michail Antonio (hamstring) to miss the clash and potentially up to four to six weeks of action.

Possible West Hame XI: Fabianski; Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Rice, Soucek, Fornals; Haller

 

Last 5 at Home to West Ham (All Competitions)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 24, 2020: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) and West Ham United's Felipe Anderson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Won 3-2 – February 2020 (Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane; Diol, Fornals)
Won 4-0 – August 2018 (Salah, Mane x2, Sturridge)
Won 4-1 – February 2018 (Can, Salah, Firmino, Mane; Antonio)
Drew 2-2   – December 2016 (Lallana, Origi; Payet, Antonio)
Drew 0-0 – January 2016

 

Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 12, 2018: Liverpool's Sadio Mane [#10] celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Without wanting to tempt fate, West Ham have won once in 47 league trips to Anfield – the last of which came in a 3-0 defeat in 2015 when Brendan Rodgers was at the helm.

Only four players (James Milner, Joe Gomez, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi) remain from that matchday squad for the Reds.

In the years since, Mohamed Salah has proved to be a thorn in the Hammers’ side having been involved in eight goals in six topflight appearances (six goals and two assists) – he has a better scoring return against only three other teams for Liverpool.

Here’s hoping he adds to that tally to continue the Hammers’ Anfield misery while extending the Reds’ own formidable run of 62 games unbeaten on home soil.

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 27, 2020: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (C) celebrates with team-mates Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino after scoring the first goal, the club's 10,000th goal, during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-0 vs. Midtjylland
Won 2-1 vs. Sheffield United
Won 1-0 vs. Ajax
Drew 2-2 vs. Everton
Lost 7-2 vs. Aston Villa

West Ham – Last five results (all competitions)

Drew 1-1 vs. Man City
Drew 3-3 vs. Tottenham
Won 3-0 vs. Leicester
Lost 4-1 vs. Everton
Won 4-0 vs. Wolves

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp made it know that he is expecting to have a fight on his hands despite the absence of Antonio for the visitors:

“It’s like everybody when you have a player who plays usually all the time and you cannot use him, that doesn’t help

“They have different options obviously because West Ham did some smart business in the last one-and-a-half years or so, and even boys who were longer there and were injured are now back.

“David is doing a really good job and that’s a proper fighting unit we will face. And one player less will not make it easier for us, not at all. It will be just a different challenge, not exactly the same maybe.”

 

TV & Liveblog Info

View from the Kop, no fans, Champions League (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. West Ham will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Main Events and Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage starting at 5pm (GMT) ahead of the 5.30pm kickoff.

Chris Williams will be the one keeping you informed and entertained with his usual bias take on all the action on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, starting from 4.45pm (GMT).

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