The last time a precocious Liverpool manager braced his team for a showdown with Slavan Bilic, his grotesque male pattern baldness, and the Hammers of West Ham, things got ugly. To the tune of 3-0 to the boys in sky blue. This is a fixture the Reds should be winning eight times out of ten on paper, regardless of whether it is Brendan Rodgers or Klopp in the dugout. But when was the last time football was played on paper?
This West Ham team is athletic, well balanced, and capable of playing it along the deck, as well as through the air. But how will they handle an effervescent gegenpress? Do Liverpool have the legs for an effervescent gegenpress in the midst of this draining holiday schedule? How many cracks at Bilic's hair will Kloppo get through in a full ninety minutes plus injury time? Here's hoping Liverpool's New Year's resolution was to right the failures from reverse fixtures, and take maximum points on this early Saturday kickoff.
Full Preview: West Ham vs. Liverpool
Kickoff: 12:45PM GMT/7:45AM EST from Boleyn Ground
Television: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBC Sports Network (USA); Fox Sports 4 (Australia); Sportsnet World Now (Canada); Star Sports 4 (hd) Asia (India); SuperSport 3 Africa (Kenya); Astro Supersport (Malaysia); 102 mio HD Sports (Singapore); other listings at LiveSoccerTV
Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell
Antonio, Noble, Valencia
Bench: Randolph, Jenkinson, Obiang, Song, Payet, Zarate, Jelavic
Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno
Ibe, Firmino, Coutinho
Bench: Bogdan, Toure, Lallana, Allen, Brannagan, Smith, Randall
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