A second-half meltdown against Bournemouth last week finally snapped Liverpool’s unbeaten streak, and Klopp and co. would very much like to get back to winning ways when West Ham travel up to Anfield on Sunday. Despite the recent loss, the Reds are unbeaten at home this season, and will look to keep it that way with the help of some key players returning to the starting XI.
Chief among those that Jürgen Klopp welcomed back is defender Joël Matip. The cool-headed Cameroonian center-back was greatly missed last week when a Liverpool defense that managed two consecutive clean sheets in the league went to Bournemouth and conceded four goals over 90 minutes.
Also expected to return to the starting XI is the in form Adam Lallana, who came on as a substitute in the previous game.
Klopp’s options are also boosted by the availability of Sadio Mané, who went off injured last week but has been deemed fit to play against the Hammers.
West Ham won’t make victory easy. Slaven Bilic’s men did the league double over Liverpool last season, walking away with a 3-0 victory at Anfield. In total, the Hammers kept two clean sheets over both legs while putting five past the Reds. Ah, memories.
This season, however, West Ham seem to be in a freefall. With 12 points gathered so far in the league, they’re only one point above the drop zone. In fact, they’ll be walking onto the pitch with a five-game winless streak weighing them down, and on the back of a humiliating 5-1 defeat against Arsenal last Saturday. Redemption and a kick-start to a better new year will be on their minds, and they may hope for a repeat of last season’s magic against the Reds.
For West Ham, Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell are fit to make the trip north, but Cheikhou Kouyate still hasn’t recovered from his groin injury. James Collins, Reece Oxford, and Diafra Sakho are also unavailable.
Karius; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Lallana, Henderson, Can; Mané, Origi, Firmino
Look for Wijnaldum and Lucas to make way for Lallana and Matip returning. With Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge both out indefinitely, Divock Origi will continue to lead the line in their stead. The young forward has been in fine form lately, scoring in his last three games. He was one of the only highlights against Bournemouth. Danny Ings remains out for the season.
The game kicks off Sunday afternoon at 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST, with the game set to be carried on NBC Sports Network in the US and Sky Sports 1 in the UK. Elsewhere, Sports World Now in Canada, Star Sports Select HD1 in India, SuperSport 3 Africa in Kenya, and Astro SuperSport 3 in Malaysia are all carrying the match. You can find full listings at LivesoccerTV.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on all the action as it happens.