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Preview: Liverpool vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and West Ham United, including team news and predicted lineups.

Premier League champions Liverpool will aspire to win their fourth game on the bounce in all competitions when the Reds welcome West Ham United to Anfield for Saturday's top-flight showdown.

The hosts enjoyed a 2-0 victory over FC Midtjylland in the Champions League in midweek, whereas West Ham's most recent fixture saw them hold Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in the league.


Match preview

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League with James Milner on October 27, 2020© Reuters

Liverpool's defensive injury crisis worsened again on Tuesday night, but Jurgen Klopp's men nevertheless managed to march to victory as they took control of their Champions League group.

Goals from Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah saw Liverpool put Midtjylland to the sword in the second round of European fixtures, but the victory was overshadowed by makeshift centre-back Fabinho being forced off through injury in the first half, with Jurgen Klopp facing a dilemma in defence with Virgil van Dijk also out for the long term.

However, the champions have made a winning start to life without the influential Dutchman and are now searching for their fourth win on the bounce, although Klopp's men were made to work for their most recent victory in the Premier League - a narrow 2-1 triumph over a struggling Sheffield United side last weekend.

Liverpool's quest for back-to-back Premier League titles is sure to be significantly hampered should Van Dijk not take to the pitch again this season, but the Reds have made a strong start to proceedings overall and sit second at this early stage - only Merseyside rivals Everton have picked up more points after six matches.

Furthermore, Liverpool's extraordinary record at Anfield has seen the Reds go unbeaten in the league on familiar territory since a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017, but given the recent form of West Ham, the visitors may feel ever-so slightly optimistic about their chances of stopping the Reds in their tracks when they make the journey to Merseyside this weekend.

West Ham United manager David Moyes celebrates in October 2020© Reuters

West Ham stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four matches with a hard-fought draw against Manchester City last weekend, with Phil Foden rescuing a point for the Citizens after Michail Antonio's brilliance shone through with an acrobatic opener in the capital.

The Hammers boast a remarkable set of results against European-chasing sides recently - it would be difficult to forget their astonishing late comeback against Tottenham Hotspur in a hurry - while David Moyes's men have also taken maximum points from encounters with Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers this season.

Those victories were not just narrow triumphs by a one-goal margin either; West Ham dominated the Midlands outfits and are sure to be brimming with confidence ahead of their trip to Anfield, with Moyes's men losing just one of their last six games in all competitions.

After an unconvincing start to the season with defeats to Newcastle United and Arsenal, the Hammers are certainly on the rise and will feel confident of giving an injury-plagued Liverpool a good run for their money at the weekend - especially seeing as the champions have conceded the joint-most goals in the top flight so far.

However, West Ham are winless against the Reds since the 2015-16 FA Cup, and Liverpool have won six of the last seven meetings with the capital side in the Premier League.

Liverpool Premier League form: WWWLDW
Liverpool form (all competitions): LLDWWW

West Ham United Premier League form: LLWWDD
West Ham United form (all competitions): WWLWDD



Team News

Liverpool's Fabinho trudges off after suffering an injury against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League on October 27, 2020© Reuters

With Van Dijk out for the long term, and question marks hanging over the heads of Fabinho and Joel Matip regarding their availability, Rhys Williams could be handed his first Premier League start alongside Joe Gomez in the heart of the Liverpool defence.

Jordan Henderson's half-time substitution raised concern among the Liverpool faithful, but Klopp confirmed that the change was planned and the Englishman is fine for Saturday, although Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita are both still doubtful.

The formidable attacking trio of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were all benched in midweek, which all but guarantees their inclusion in the starting lineup this weekend, although Salah was seen limping down the tunnel after Tuesday's win.

With regards to West Ham, Antonio had to be forced off early on in the second half against Man City, and the 30-year-old will miss out the trip to Anfield.

Last weekend's game came too soon for Brentford loanee Said Benrahma to feature, but the attacker could be given the green light to face Liverpool if he is up to speed.

Any alterations whatsoever are unlikely should Moyes have a full squad to pick from, but Sebastien Haller is set to spearhead the Hammers attack in Antonio's absence.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Williams, Robertson; Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Rice, Soucek, Fornals; Haller


SM words green background

We say: Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United

Any team would struggle with the loss of one of their top defenders, and Liverpool's growing list of injuries is certainly a major concern for Klopp amid an unforgiving fixture schedule. The Reds are facing a challenging fixture against a West Ham side who have made a habit of taking points off of some of the big sides recently, but we still think the champions will do enough to get over the line.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and West Ham?

Liverpool
Draw
West Ham
Liverpool
100%
Draw
0.0%
West Ham
0.0%
1
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs106312191221
2Liverpool106312217521
3Chelsea1054122101219
4Leicester CityLeicester106041914518
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham105231711617
6Southampton105231916317
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
8Everton105141917216
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
10Aston Villa95042013715
11Manchester CityMan City94321511415
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
14Arsenal104151012-213
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
17Fulham102171119-87
18West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
19Burnley9126417-135
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121

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