WEST HAM UNITED VS. LIVERPOOL
|Sunday, January 31st|
Premier League | London Stadium
4:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST
Can Liverpool build on their momentum from an impressive performance and victory against Tottenham on Thursday despite a worsening defensive crisis? That’s what we’re all wondering as the Reds travel to London Stadium on Sunday afternoon to take on David Moyes’s West Ham United.
In the least surprising news, Klopp has lost both Joel Matip and Fabinho from his arsenal and will be forced to field Henderson and a fifth choice center-back in the center of defense. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Liverpool’s famed front trio have all found their scoring boots again. After a long dry spell, the Reds have scored five goals in their last two games.
Second piece of good news: West Ham, though in fifth place and only two points behind Liverpool on the table, are still managed by notorious Liverpool-bottler David Moyes.
Speaking of, Moyes will have Jesse Lingard as an option, with the player moving to London on loan from Manchester United. Michail Antonio loves to score in this fixture, and he’ll be leading the line on Sunday, along with the in-form Tomas Soucek. Soucek picked up a brace on Tuesday, his two goal securing victory for the Hammers.
Meanwhile, reported Liverpool target Issa Diop will likely be relegated to the bench, stuck, as he has been this season, behind Craig Dawson and Antonio Ogbonna.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Henderson, Robertson; Jones, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Deep breath, folks. Here we go. Liverpool will be missing: Fabinho, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez (their first FOUR center-back choices - how? HOW?), Diogo Jota and Naby Keita. We’ll have to deal with Jordan Henderson in defense, which is never great for the defense or the midfield, where he is very much missed. There’s more options in midfield, even with Hendo pushed back to the defense, so it could be that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Xherdan Shaqiri get a chance instead.
West Ham will be without the services of Arthur Masuaku and Darren Randolph.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “[They have] brought in the right players, I think everybody’s really impressed about the goal threat of Soucek, that’s incredible. Antonio is back. It’s just settled now. It obviously took a little bit [of time], that’s normal as well, and last year they really had to fight hard for staying in the league but now they are longer together and it works out.”
David Moyes: “We have got an incredibly difficult challenge against Liverpool, the reigning champions. They showed everybody and found a real bit of form [last night]. We were never in doubt of how tough the game’s going to be. We want to try and challenge the best teams and we want to see what we can do.”
Referee: Jonathan Moss. Assistants: Marc Perry, Dan Robathan. Fourth official: Andy Madley. VAR: Craig Pawson. Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/12:30PM 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.