Despite a strong start to the season, Liverpool’s form has started to unravel in the league following the loss of key man Virgil van Dijk amongst others – and inform West Ham may pounce on this. Will Lancaster offers his betting tips and predictions for Saturday evening’s clash.
Who is playing?
Liverpool vs West Ham
What competition is it?
English Premier League
What time is Liverpool vs West Ham?
17:30 GMT, Saturday 31st October 2020
Which stadium is hosting Liverpool vs West Ham?
Anfield, Liverpool, England
What channel is Liverpool vs West Ham on?
Sky Sports Main Event
Liverpool vs West Ham Summary
Having unemphatically ended their past Premier League woes with a dour 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Sheffield United last weekend, Liverpool will look to extend their incredible unbeaten run at their Anfield fortress this weekend. The Reds’ sit joint-top of the Premier League, slightly behind bitter local rivals Everton on goal difference, but can leapfrog their city counterparts with a win on Saturday evening.
The sun will set earlier than usual over Anfield, following the clock changes – and on what will be a brisk Halloween night, the Reds’ will hope to have more of a treat than a trick as they come up against West Ham United – who after two compounding losses to get the season underway, have been the league’s surprise side over the last month, picking up eight points from four games – and the Hammers’ may throw up a ‘spooky’ surprise in the current festive season.
Liverpool Team News and Form
The Red Men started the season superbly; they disposed easily of potential title challengers Chelsea and Arsenal in their first three games, prior to a win over newly promoted Leeds United to kickstart their season. These results had everyone on Merseyside talking about a potential ‘London bus’ scenario; having not had a Premier League title for thirty years, football fans alike were adamant that surely, they couldn’t win two in a row. It certainly looked that way on the eve they rocked up in Birmingham at Villa Park – yet it has taken a detrimental path from there.
Since their infamous 7-2 mauling in the Second City, Liverpool’s season has gone slightly pear-shaped; not only having controversially drawn at Everton thanks to VAR, the main talking point from the derby was the long-term injury sustained by their rock in defence – Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman was on the wrong end of a tackle by England keeper Jordan Pickford, and is likely to be out for the rest of the season, which is likely to have hugely negative connotations on Liverpool’s title defence.
They seem to have coped well with his dis-inclusion so far; despite going 1-0 down to Sheffield United the Reds’ did what they do best and their determination carried them over the line against the Blades. However, they were shaky at the back, and had they come up against a stronger attack than that of Oliver McBurnie, they probably would’ve succumbed to defeat against a better team. However, they’ve also picked up a couple of hard-fought victories against Dutch giants Ajax and Danish minnows Midtjylland and will be pleased with this.
In terms of injuries, van Dijk remains out, however Fabinho picked up a fresh injury in midweek and seems to be out for a couple of weeks, giving Jurgen Klopp a defensive headache; Rhys Williams is likely to debutise at the heart of Liverpool’s team. Elsewhere, Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kostas Tsimikas also miss out.
West Ham Team News and Form
David Moyes’s isolation period with COVID-19 may unintentionally have been the best thing to happen to West Ham United this season. Having endured a depressing 2-0 home loss to Newcastle United on the opening weekend followed by a 2-1 loss to London rivals Arsenal the weekend after, things were looking down for the Irons. And when manager Moyes was forced to isolate with COVID, fans’ envisaged their season taking a turn for the worst, especially with their next four fixtures being Leicester, Wolves, Tottenham and Manchester City.
However, from the comfort of his armchair, Moyes took to Zoom and masterminded two wins over the Midlands’ sides before claiming draws away at two of the big six; leaving the Hammers’ pushing for the top half.
The Hammers haven’t beaten Liverpool since 2016, and they will find it hard to break them down at Anfield – their last win at the red half of Merseyside was when Brendan Rodgers was manager, prevailing victorious with a 3-0 win. And they will find it even harder to win, given Liverpool’s 62 game unbeaten run in the league under Klopp.
The task will be even more difficult with the absence of Antonio, although they only have one other casualty in Said Benrahma; the on-loan Brentford winger is still touch-and-go after not being included in the 18-man squad from last week.
Liverpool Last Five Matches (All Competitions)
- Midtjylland (H), 2-0 Champions League Group D win
- Sheffield United (H) 2-1 Premier League win
- Ajax (A) 1-0 Champions League Group D win
- Everton (A) 2-2 Premier League draw
- Aston Villa (A) 2-7 Premier League loss
West Ham Last Five Matches (All Competitions)
- Manchester City (H), 1-1 Premier League draw
- Tottenham (A), 3-3 Premier League draw
- Leicester (A) 3-0 Premier League win
- Everton (A) 1-4 Carabao Cup loss
- Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) 4-0 Premier League win
Liverpool Top Scorers
Mohamed Salah (19 League Goals in 2019/20 + 6 this season) – Liverpool’s main man has been firing on all cylinders once again this season, and the right winger looks set to embark on a fourth season of absolute scoring prowess. Having already reached 79 league goals in a little over three seasons, the Egyptian has started yet another campaign in terrific fashion and will look to add to his incredible tally against a West Ham team – who he has scored six goals in six games against.
Sadio Mane (4 League Goals this season + 18 goals) – The Senegalese winger has lived in the shadow of his teammate Salah this season but has still bagged four goals in the league. The pacey wide man has scored in vital games this season – including a brace at Stamford Bridge and the opener in the derby at Goodison – and with West Ham in great form, Liverpool will look to their usual game changer to bring all three points to Merseyside.
West Ham Top Scorers
Jarrod Bowen (3 league goals this season + 1 in 2019/20)–Despite a slow start to life at the London Stadium, Hereford-born Bowen has really come into his own this season with three goals in five games. With the sales of Grady Diangana and Felipe Anderson by the Hammers this summer – alongside Said Benrahma not yet featuring – Bowen has been chosen as the focal point for the Hammers’ attack and he has more than delivered, with two goals against Wolves and one against Leicester City.
Sebastian Haller (7 League Goals in 2019/20 + 1 this season) – With talisman Michail Antonio being ruled out of action for over a month with a hamstring injury, Moyes will likely turn to the underwhelming Seb Haller to win him a point at the home of the Champions. Having scored just seven goals in thirty-two league games last season – despite costing £45m – Antonio has been preferred to the Frenchman, who was largely disappointing in all departments in his debut season in England’s top flight. However, having already got off the mark this term, Haller will fancy his chances against a depleted Reds’ team.
- David Moyes has not won an away league game at Anfield in his entire managerial career.
- Jurgen Klopp failed to beat West Ham in his first four outings against them – yet has won six of his last seven against the East London outfit.
- Liverpool have yet to lose at the London Stadium since the Hammers’ moved there in August 2016.
|24th February 2020||LIV 3-2 WHU||English Premier League|
|29th January 2020||WHU 0-2 LIV||English Premier League|
|4th February 2019||WHU 1-1 LIV||English Premier League|
|12th August 2018||LIV 4-0 WHU||English Premier League|
|24th February 2018||LIV 4-1 WHU||English Premier League|
Will’s Betting Tips
An easy one, to start off with – Liverpool have only dropped two points at Anfield since the start of last season – towards the end of last season at home to Burnley – and will more than likely continue their stellar form despite their defensive injury woes.
Liverpool are quick starters at home in the league; the Reds’ lead 15 out of 19 times going into the interval at Anfield last year and have managed two out of three this year – whereas West Ham only lead 3/19 times away at half time last season. Liverpool aren’t missing many key attackers and their firepower is there – so Liverpool to win the first-half looks promising.
Sadio Mane and Mo Salah look to be in flying form this season; however, Moyes usually sets up with a 5-4-1 formation intending to limit the influence from the wings. Hence, Roberto Firmino will look to be the main focal point in this clash, and the Brazilian looks to have found his form of 2018/19 this season.
*Odds as of time of writing (Friday 30th October 2020) and subject to change.
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