| Saturday, March 5th |
Premier League | Anfield
5:30PM GMT/12:30AM EST
While West Ham United are worthy opponents, Liverpool have only lost one of their last 48 home matches against them (W35 D12), last dropping points at home to West Ham under Brendan Rodgers in 2015. The Hammers also played in the FA Cup on Wednesday, progressing past Southampton in a tight match, and thus will come into tomorrow’s match on similar rest and preparation.
West Ham United have, however, won at home against Liverpool this season (3-2), and are thus looking to do the double against Liverpool while the Reds chase a potential title.
Like Liverpool, West Ham have been lethal from corners (scoring 9, second-most in the league behind our 12). The Hammers will hope to use set plays to their advantage on Saturday, though their xG from set plays is nothing overly special.
Of late, West Ham have began turning their form back to the right side, conceding far fewer in terms of xG than they create. While their numbers have looked good, they haven’t played a side of Liverpool’s quality for some time: in their last five, they went out in the FA Cup 2-1 to Southampton, beat Wolves 1-0 at home, drew at home to Newcastle 1-1,, drew away to Leicester 2-2, and beat Watford 1-0,
Jarrod Bowen, who looks to mark this match with the most consecutive Premier League starts of any player (79) for the Hammers, is crucial to West Ham’s play. He pressed well and plays risky passes (which means he’s ripe to intercept), and is a key player to disrupt should Liverpool look to upset their attack. Bowen has been repeatedly linked to Liverpool, and the manager is a fan.
Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku might return to the side; the ever-important Tomáš Souček is questionable after requiring stitches in mid-week. Ukrainian Andriy Yarmolenko has been training, but this match likely comes too soon for him — though manger David Moyes expressed his support for the player amidst war in his homeland.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Jota, Mané
Joël Matip, Thiago and Roberto Firmino are out for the weekend, with Curtis Jones and Naby Keïta are in doubt.
The Reds have been in good form, winning the last six league matches by an aggregate score of 18-2. The Reds are unbeaten at home in 17 matches (W13 D4), and hope to continue their strong home firm.
Mohamed Salah has scored in all four of his home games against West Hamm, scoring nine goals in nine appearances overall. Should Salah score tomorrow, he will most West Ham into his “scored against most column” — at present, he’s also scored nine against Watford. Furthermore, should he score on Saturday, the Egyptian could become the second African player to score 10 league goals against a specific opponent. (Who was the first, you ask? Just some fella called Sadio Mané, who loves scoring against Crystal Palace.)
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “[Jarrod] Bowen…what a player he became, unbelievable! We saw him as well at Hull and he was really good that time, but I’m not sure a lot of people expected this jump. Unbelievable player.”
David Moyesr: ““I think at the moment we have a Premier League full of the top teams in Europe. We’ve got Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City... the Premier League’s so difficult, but also so good that we’ve got that level of game. Going to Anfield is very difficult and has been for me over the years, but hopefully it gets better for me this time.”
Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: Marc Perry, Timothy Wood Fourth Official: Kevin Friend VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
Kickoff is set for 5:30PM GMT/12:30PM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.