10 key things to know ahead of West Ham vs. Liverpool – A 2nd league double?

After beating Nottingham Forest 3-2, Liverpool will be hoping to extend their winning run in more straightforward fashion, as they visit West Ham.

West Ham United vs. Liverpool

Premier League (32) | London Stadium
April 26, 2023 | 7.45pm (BST)

Liverpool have not won three games in a row since November.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have the chance to change that, as they visit the London Stadium to face a relegation-threatened West Ham.

The Reds are expected to win but, this season’s inconsistency has shown that nothing is guaranteed with this Liverpool side.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of West Ham vs. Liverpool.


1. Konate “positive” but no Naby

Liverpool players walk out before match Anfield Ibrahima Konate (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is just one fresh injury concern to contend with in the lead-up to West Ham vs. Liverpool.

Ibrahima Konate was a slight doubt for the last couple of matches but played both in full, and now the Frenchman is under the microscope again.

On Konate’s fitness, Klopp said: “We need to see how it is with him but, at the moment, I’m rather positive [for the West Ham match].”

Meanwhile, the manager reiterated that Roberto Firmino won’t be involved in this week’s fixtures, but there was better news on Naby Keita.

“If everything goes well today [Tuesday], he [Keita] could be in partial training today. Not full training, his own programme. Much closer,” said the German.


2. Fabinho yellow risk

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 4, 2023: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabinho has just one more game to avoid a yellow card, to prevent him from a two-game suspension.

If he is booked against West Ham, the Brazilian would subsequently miss Liverpool’s home matches against Tottenham and Fulham.

After Wednesday’s game against the Hammers, however, Fabinho‘s cards will be wiped.

He managed to avoid a booking against Nottingham Forest but it will be a difficult task for the holding midfielder to avoid being cautioned again.

He’s picked up seven yellows in his last 10 matches.


3. Hammers on the mend

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 7, 2021: West Ham United's Declan Rice during the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. West Ham United won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Overall, it has been an underwhelming season for West Ham who lie 13th in the Premier League, just six points above the relegation zone, albeit with a game in hand.

Things have started picking up in recent weeks, though.

David Moyes’ side have lost just one of their last 10 matches and are on a high after knocking out Gent on their way to the Europa Conference League semi-finals.

Last week also brought an impressive 4-0 away win over Bournemouth with Declan Rice scoring for a second consecutive match, after a brilliant solo run.


4. Team news, could changes beckon?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 9, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Having named the same team for three consecutive matches for the first time since January 2020, Klopp is now likely to change things up, given his team have four games in 11 days.

To what extent he will change is unclear but Klopp reaffirmed that training performances would play a big part in his selection process.

“It’s clear in the few sessions we had, that the players have to prove themselves [that] they want to start again, and the others have to show me they want to start,” the manager said.

Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Gakpo, Jota


5. “David has to stay!”

The West Ham manager’s job status has come into question at times this season, but he had one supporter even during his nadir.

Klopp explained one amusing reason why he wanted Moyes to remain in his post, saying: “If West Ham would’ve sacked David Moyes, I would’ve been the oldest manager in the Premier League.

“I want to avoid that. Somebody told me before the season I was the second oldest and since then I have fingers crossed for West Ham. David has to stay!”

Since 75-year-old Roy Hodgson took over at Crystal Palace, Klopp, 55, is no longer the second-oldest manager in the league.

Don’t worry Jurgen, you’ve still got the energy of a younger man!


6. Who is the referee?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 25, 2018: Referee Chris Kavanagh during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For the first time this season, Greater Manchester-born Chris Kavanagh will take charge of Liverpool.

The last time he refereed Liverpool was in February 2022, as the Reds beat Leicester 2-0 at Anfield.

His assistants for this one are Simon Bennett and James Mainwaring, while Neil Swarbrick is the lead VAR.

Meanwhile, Andy Davies will be on fourth official duties.


7. Jota is back up “to speed”

It has taken a while, that’s for sure, but Diogo Jota finally seems to be getting back to his best.

Before scoring twice against Leeds last week, the forward went over a year without a goal, although that run was hampered by injury problems.

Since returning to form, Klopp has been full of praise for the Portuguese, saying he’s now “back to speed” and that he is “an exceptional player.”

The German added: “Diogo is a super smart player and can play in different positions. He’s not the tallest but is an extreme threat in the air and good with both feet and has the speed.

“He had a really bad injury this season and a bad injury before that. That kept him back – nothing else. His only problem is the injury this season and he would be on more than four goals.”


8. More records for Mo?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 22, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Manchester City won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goals are expected at the London Stadium, and Salah needs just one more to equal John Toshack’s club record of 10 goals against West Ham in all competitions.

The Egyptian’s next goal will see him become equal fifth on the club’s all-time league goalscorers list, joining Harry Chambers on 135.

Liverpool have beaten West Ham 33 times in the Premier League – against no team have they won more and a win on Wednesday will secure only their second league double of the season (the first came vs. Newcastle).

At West Ham, the Reds have won 13 and lost nine of 26 Premier League encounters, with four draws.


9. The state of play

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 22, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp waves to the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are currently seventh in the Premier League, having played a game more than Man United who are fourth and nine points better off.

The Reds’ chances of qualifying for the Champions League are slim. Nevertheless, they still have work to do in securing a Europa League position.

Finishing fifth or sixth would do it, but seventh place would mean a spot in the Europa Conference League.


10. Follow the match with TIA

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 22, 2017: A general view of the London Stadium, home of West Ham United, pictured before the FA Premier League match against Everton. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

West Ham vs. Liverpool is live on BT Sport 2 with kickoff at 7.45pm (BST)

TIA’s matchday live blog will be up and running from 7.00pm, with Adam Beattie tasked with keeping you entertained and up-to-date.

Come on you Reds!