Liverpool will be looking to exact some revenge on West Ham United as they were beaten in the away game earlier this season. At that time it seemed that West Ham were destined to finish in the top 4 while Liverpool were floundering in the bottom half of the Premier League. Cue a few months forward and Liverpool seem to have their groove back while West Ham have lost a bit of steam.
Liverpool will be looking to continue their good run in the league and even though they got knocked out of the League Cup, they will be boosted by the news that Daniel Sturridge might return to the squad, although he probably will not start for the Reds. Another bit of news to look out for is Andy Carroll coming back to Anfield as he will try to show the Reds that they made a mistake selling the big forward, who in the past few weeks seems to have found his scoring boots back.
The big news is Daniel Sturridge and his return to the Liverpool team, him starting may not happen but he could be on the bench, which in itself will be a huge boost for the team. Sakho is a major doubt for the game as he was substituted against Chelsea and he should be assessed before the game starts.
West Ham, have a lot of defensive issues with Collins and O’Brien both out with injuries while Jenkinson, Song and Tomkins will be assessed before the game as they all have some niggling injuries.
Sterling vs. West Ham’s defence
Liverpool’s only hope of scoring goals has to be Raheem Sterling, the pace the English man has will be a constant problem for the West Ham defence and it will be a challenge to keep the 19 year old quite all throughout the game.
Skrtel vs. Carroll
Martin Skrtel will have a tough task on his hands or head as he takes on Andy Carroll. Carroll might not be scoring a lot of goals over the years but his physical presence really is a nuisance for the opposition and he will look to give the Liverpool defender a horrible time.
Henderson vs. Noble
Two of the most industrious midfielders go head to head, the last time it was Noble led the team to victory but with news that Henderson will probably take over Liverpool’s captaincy after Gerrard leaves, it will be intriguing to see how he does in this game.
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 6 games in the Premier League.
Liverpool are undefeated in their last 13 home matches against West Ham.
Liverpool have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 home games in the Premier League.
West Ham have scored more headed goals than any other team in the Premier League (14).
Raheem Sterling has now matched the number of assists he had last season.
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool manager: “We have to be careful with him (Sturridge) as he’s been out a long time, but to have him back for the second part of the season will make us a better team,”
“In the last few days and in particular this morning [Thursday], he was brilliant in training – really back to what we had seen before. I can tell he is happy and feeling very strong in his own body.”
Sam Allardyce, West Ham manager: “I hope he (Carroll) doesn’t try too hard because that can put you off your game, but football is a team game, so we want everyone to do well and help each other out.
“I’m sure Andy would like to score and we’ll certainly do what we can to try and help him do that. I certainly don’t think he has anything to prove, everyone knows how good he is.
“He just needs to focus and prepare like he does for every game, keep a calm head and play his normal game.”
Possible starting line-ups:
Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Johnson, Gerrard, Henderson, Markovic, Moreno, Sterling, Coutinho, Borini
West Ham starting XI: Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell, Nolan, Song, Noble, Downing, Carroll, Sakho
Although Liverpool were beaten by Chelsea in the League cup semi, they should still have just a little bit more in their tank to win over West Ham. A tough game won by the odd goal.
Quotes courtes: Premier League
Picture courtesy: Empire of the Kop, SkySports, Express & the Guardian