West Ham vs Liverpool
| Wednesday, January 29th |
Premier League | London Stadium
7:45PM BST / 2:45PM EST
Hot on the heels of a supremely anticlimactic FA Cup draw with Shrewsbury Town, the Reds need to get back in their Premier League rise and grind mentality, as they look to make the most of their game in hand against David Moyes’ West Ham.
The Hammers sit 16th in the table, safe only by virtue of their negative 11 goal difference, which is better than Bournemouth and Watford’s negative 14 and negative 15, respectively. Despite spending big money this summer, it’s been a rough season for the London outfit, and Manuel Pellegrini was sacked just before the new year, paving the way for Liverpool’s old foe. With two wins, a draw, and three losses in his six games so far, Moyes has not yet proven a massive upgrade on his predecessor, but the Scot will no doubt be looking to turn his fortunes against a former rival.
On paper, the Hammers possess a gifted side, boasting attacking talent such as Felipe Anderson, Sebastien Haller, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals and Andriy Yarmolenko, but they have failed to gel thus far, proving incapable of bailing out one of the worst defensive records in the league with any sort of regularity.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Origi, Firmino, Salah
Having rested the majority of his most frequent starters and handed starts to a mix of youths and rusty senior players returning from injury against Shrewsbury at the weekend, Jürgen Klopp is likely to revert to his favoured starting XI tomorrow night, which means Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez holding down the centre of defense, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson manning the fullbacks.
Fabinho has gotten a couple of features under his belt since his return from injury last week, but has not looked quite up to his regular level, and we are likely to see Jordan Henderson back in the six on Wednesday night, partnered by the ever-reliable Georginio Wijnaldum. Naby Keïta was on the bench on Sunday, but in all probability, the impetus to press from the front and drive into the box from midfield will fall on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against West Ham.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were thrown on at the last minute in an attempt to salvage a win on Sunday, but started the game on the bench and are likely to be more than fresh enough to feature from the start tomorrow night. Sadio Mané will miss out with a hamstring injury suffered in the 2-1 win over Wolves, which means a slight rearrangement of the front line and a start for either Takumi Minamino or Divock Origi.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “We have to be ready for a big fight. They want to strike back, they have a tough programme coming up, everybody knows that. They have no points to waste, no time to waste.”
David Moyes: “I really do expect the players to go out there, put a show on, and try and win. If that’s won by a set-piece, a flukey goal, I wouldn’t be bothered.”
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistant referees: Marc Perry, Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Graham Scott
VAR: Kevin Friend, Simon Beck.
Kickoff is set for 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, 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 the action as it happens.