After a disappointing start to December with a 4 match winless streak, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds came back strongly against Leicester City and Sunderland as they picked 6 points from both the fixtures and also kept two clean sheets in the process. They enter the New Year, 7th in the points table and will face West Ham in their first fixture of 2016.
Slaven Bilic’s side humiliated Liverpool at Anfield earlier this season but a lot has changed at Merseyside since then. Brendan Rodgers gave way to Jurgen Klopp who has lifted the team and will hope to continue the winning streak in the New Year. Here is the preview of the game along with the Team News, Predicted Line-ups, Predictions and Betting Odds.
The West Ham United vs Liverpool game will be played on Saturday the 2nd of January at the Upton Park in London. The kickoff is scheduled at 12:45 pm BST (6:15 pm IST).
West Ham will be very happy with the latest injury update with as many as 6 players in contention for a return this weekend. Payet, Valencia, Moses, Jelavic, Cresswell and Reid are all expected to return to the squad after nursing their respective injuries. Slaven Bilic, however, will be without Diafra Sakho for this game and will have to decide on starting Andy Carroll up front.
Though it may sound sweet, the fans of Liverpool are all too wary of the brittle Daniel Sturridge who is set to return to action after almost a month. He may not be given a start on the night but will definitely be in the squad for this game. Origi, Skrtel, Milner, Gomez and Ings are all sidelined for this game while Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen are doubtful for this game in London.
West Ham United:
Adrian; Jenkinson, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Song, Kouyate, Antonio, Payet, Lanzini; Carroll
Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Can, Lucas; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino; Benteke
Payet vs Lucas:
Lucas Leiva has lost his place in recent times to a midfield duo of Can and Henderson but the injury to the skipper will leave the Brazilian in charge of keeping a check on Dimitri Payet from West Ham. Payet is just back from injury but has been superb before picking up a niggle. He will surely test the resilience of Liverpool’s defensive mid-field.
Benteke vs Tomkins:
Christian Benteke has scored two winners in the last two games for Liverpool and will hope to continue his goal scoring form against the Hammers on Saturday. He will be up against Tomkins who has looked solid at the back for the home side. This battle can potentially decide the fate of this fixture.
West Ham United: 14/5
Klopp has spoken about the need of consistency in the new year and Liverpool will have to find a run of form where they can grind results out if they are entertain European football next season. But West Ham have proved to be tough competitors and will be a tough nut to crack in their home stadium. However, Liverpool will go into the game favorites to take revenge on the 3-0 loss at Anfield earlier this season.
West Ham 1-2 Liverpool