Liverpool vs. West Ham
| Monday, February 24th |
Premier League | Anfield
8PM GMT/3PM EST
After what seems like the longest week ever, Liverpool are back into the Premier League tomorrow to host West Ham at Anfield. It wasn’t that long ago that Liverpool went down to the London Stadium to take care of that game in hand that they’d been gifted due to that whole FIFA Club World Cup thing back in December. It had been a fairly easy win for Liverpool at the time, even with Sadio Mané missing through injury.
West Ham, naturally, have not had a good go of it ever since bringing in David Moyes and are currently sitting 18th in the league, firmly in the relegation zone. They haven’t won a match since January 1st and are looking desperately to be some party spoilers and pick up three points at Anfield. Apparently it would be a historic occasion for Mark Noble, as the only West Ham captain to have captained a side to two (!!) wins at Anfield — the last one being in 2015. So there’s that.
The Irons have a couple meaningful injuries to worry about ahead of the match up, with defender Ryan Fredericks currently out for an undetermined amount of time with a shoulder injury, and forward Andriy Yarmolenko still working his way back to full fitness after a thigh injury sustained back in December. Neither are likely to feature on Monday so all the better for us.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Liverpool, on the other hand, are coming off one of the rare losses of the season in the Champions League. After a frustrating 1-0 showing at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid against Atletico Madrid, the Reds will be raring to continue their unbeaten streak in the League and at home.
This visit by West Ham will more than likely end in tears by the famous Claret and Blue Army, but Liverpool still have some cobwebs to shake off following the “Winter break” that the Premier League tried to bring about. Breaks, generally, aren’t great for the Reds who thrive on the pressure of playing multiple games — especially this season with more games than ever. The match last weekend against Norwich was case in point, the first after the break against a struggling side that should’ve been way easier than it ended up being.
That 19 point gap (lessened only by Manchester City’s back to back wins in the meantime) would say otherwise, but this is the perfect chance to provide further proof that Liverpool are the Champions-elect. Without many major injury woes this time, aside from captain Jordan Henderson’s hamstring problem keeping him out for three weeks, Liverpool have a strong squad to field for Monday and should be ready to jump another hurdle towards May.
Or you know, potentially March when the League could be locked up. COULD BE.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “West Ham needs to fight for results and they will fight for results. They have tough games coming up for them as well, so they don’t have time to waste results, points or whatever. I expect a really, really tough match, 100 per cent.”
David Moyes: “It’d mean a lot for me [to beat Liverpool]. Anfield is never an easy place for any manager or team to go to, but we’ll go there and do everything we can to get a result.”
Referee: Mike Jones
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Mark Scholes
Fourth official: Michael Oliver
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, 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.