| Saturday, November 4th |
Premier League | London Stadium
5.30PM GMT/1.30PM EST
Two 3-0 wins since an unacceptable 4-1 defeat at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur has moved Liverpool back in the top six and within touching distance of the Champions League knockout rounds. Huddersfield and NK Maribor may have both entered the interval level, but Liverpool found form in the second half of both games. Can Liverpool now repeat the trick away from home against West Ham United?
One win from the final two Champions League group games will guarantee a place in the last 16, but greater consistency is required to finish in the top four for a second successive season. Liverpool should be aiming for more than that, but comfortable victories and clean sheets is a good way to respond to another big defeat against a fellow top six member.
There is an opportunity to gain ground in the Premier League with Manchester City taking on Arsenal at the Etihad and Chelsea entertaining Manchester United on Sunday. Manchester City may be out of sight after collecting 28 points out of 30, but Chelsea and Arsenal are only three points ahead of Merseyside's finest on 19 points. Tottenham Hotspur sit a point ahead of their London rivals, while Manchester United trail Pep Guardiola's pacesetters by five points.
A win before the last international break of 2017 will put Liverpool back in the mix; moreover, with no further international breaks until March, this is a perfect time put three points on the board to ensure that domestic football resumes with Jürgen Klopp's players ready to roll with the return of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané, and Adam Lallana.
Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Can, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Sturridge, Firmino
Mané is set for a return to the bench after resuming full training so there should be great pace in the squad. Georginio Wijnaldum injured his ankle in the first half against Maribor and will sit this game out. Dejan Lovren, recently subject to disgusting and disgraceful abuse, is doubtful with a thigh injury. Nathaniel Clyne is in injury limbo, but Joe Gomez has earned his selection for the full England squad with his fine form. Trent Alexander-Arnold may have started in midweek, but Gomez is the right option for potentially tricky games due to his superior defensive capabilities and maturity on the ball.
Daniel Sturridge and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been dropped by Gareth Southgate to Klopp's surprise, but both players are looking good. Having them around during the international could be a significant boost, and both could start tomorrow. Sturridge has scored in his last two games, and Oxlade-Chamberlain is looking lively after struggling to settle in his early appearances. Klopp must be credited with easing the 24-year-old in slowly after a deadline day move from Arsenal.
There should come a point where Loris Karius gets a run in the side at the expense of Simon Mignolet, but goalkeeper rotation between Premier League and Champions League matches should restore Mignolet to the starting eleven. At some point, Karius either has to usurp Mignolet or watch on as a genuine successor is brought in to finally displace the unconvincing Belgian number two.
Meanwhile, Slaven Bilić has an injury crisis in defence that has been exacerbated by Pablo Zabaleta's suspension. Sam Byram, José Fonte, James Collins, and the underrated Winston Reid are all either injured or doubtful for tomorrow's clash. Michail Antonio—a reliably dangerous attacker for the Hammers—is also out. Andy Carroll is fit to face his former side and should provide a significant aerial threat if he makes the starting line-up. Bilić plumped for a 3-5-2 formation in West Ham's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and may try the formation for a second time in the league this season. The beleagured Bilić has been searching for the right formula, but West Ham sit in 16th spot with the third worst goal difference in the division along with Stoke City.
The away side could do with a bit of creativity in midfield as West Ham's defence has been caught square by clever passes into pockets of space all season. With all due respect, Liverpool have little in the way of excuses for failing to punish a willing opponent. The Reds may have won only one in six meetings against West Ham and have conceded the most Premier League away goals this season, but this is a weekend where opportunity dares Liverpool to seize it.
Kickoff is set for 5.30PM GMT/1.30PM EST tomorrow on BT Sport 1 in the UK and NBC Sports in the US. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, Sportsnet in Canada, Star Sports Select HD1 in India, SuperSport3 Africa in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, Astro SuperSport 3 in Malaysia, and 102 (HD) mio Stadium in Singapore are carrying the match. TalkSport Radio UK and LFCTV Go provide online options to follow the game. 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.