MX23RW : Saturday, December 15 12:15:16
Feb 24, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 53,256
West HamWest Ham United
Can (29'), Salah (51'), Firmino (57'), Mane (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Antonio (59')

Preview: Liverpool vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of Liverpool's Premier League meeting with West Ham United at Anfield.

Liverpool return to action on Saturday afternoon following a 10-day gap between games, aiming to make it five without a defeat in all competitions when they play host to West Ham United.

The Reds have been in good form over the past few months, losing just two of their last 24 in all competitions, and find themselves two points off second place in the Premier League.


A hail-swept Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League game between Southampton and Liverpool on February 11, 2018© Offside

Jurgen Klopp has used the prolonged break since thrashing Porto 5-0 to his advantage by taking the Liverpool squad to Marbella for a short warm-weather training camp, used to get each player up to full speed heading into the business end of the campaign.

Not that the likes of forward trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane require any fine tuning, of course, having each registered in that memorable Champions League last-16 tie in Portugal to continue their impressive campaigns.

The emphatic nature of the Reds' display in that most recent outing, becoming the first English side to net five times away from home in a knockout tie, means that they are effectively already in the hat for the quarter-finals and have the luxury of rotating in the second leg.

Winning the Champions League may take priority for Klopp at this stage, though finishing in the top four for successive seasons - something they last achieved in 2009 - is also key, and the German will be confident of achieving that target.

Two defeats in 24 translates to one in 18 in the top flight, lifting the Merseyside outfit into third place and just two points behind a stuttering Manchester United, whom they face in a little over two weeks' time.

At the same time, though, fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur are on a good run themselves and are two points adrift of Liverpool, so while a runners-up spot is in sight, merely finishing anywhere in the top four should also be seen as a successful league campaign.

Liverpool have certainly had no problems against this weekend's opponents in recent encounters, meanwhile, winning 4-1 at the London Stadium in November, eight months on from an equally emphatic 4-0 triumph at the same venue.

Klopp has not always had it his own way in this fixture, though, as he failed to win any of his first four games against the Hammers - the most recent encounter at Anfield finishing in a 2-2 draw at the end of 2016.

Recent form in Premier League: WWLWDW
Recent form (all competitions): LLWDWW

West Ham United

Javier Hernandez of West Ham United celebrates scoring their first goal against Watford on February 10, 2018© Offside

Klopp's record against West Ham may be improving, but opposite number David Moyes remains without a win at Anfield in 14 attempts during spells with Everton, Man United and Sunderland.

The Scotsman has certainly helped to stabilise things at the London Stadium since being appointed in November, however, thanks to the accumulation of 20 points across the last 12 games in the Premier League.

Two defeats during that run, stretching back to the start of December, ensures that West Ham are much closer to the top half than the bottom three.

With five teams between themselves and the dreaded dropzone, and a favourable run of fixtures on the horizon, United should conceivably have enough to get themselves over the line in a campaign that looked for a long time as though it would end in relegation.

The tight nature of the bottom half means that the Hammers cannot breathe too easily for now, though, with just five points separating Watford in 11th and Stoke City in 19th.

A couple of defeats on the spin could therefore see Moyes's men back in the relegation zone; a couple of wins and they could be as high as eighth - a position that looked beyond them even before a ball was kicked this season.

United will point to the form of Marko Arnautovic as a key factor behind their resurgence over the past few months, while fellow summer signing Javier Hernandez has also finally found his feet after failing to push through a mid-season exit.

Hernandez has scored three goals and assisted another in his last four Premier League outings, and also boasts a couple of goals at Anfield during his time with arch-rivals Man United - what he would give for one more this weekend.

Recent form in Premier League: DWDDLW
Recent form (all competitions): WDLDLW

Team News

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Liverpool on December 17, 2017© Offside

Klopp reported in the week that he has no fresh injury concerns and could therefore go with the same XI that saw off Porto - the Reds' first knockout stage tie in the Champions League in nine years.

Emre Can will be pushing for a start, though, having missed out in Portugal through suspension, and both Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are in contention to come in.

At the back, former Southampton pair Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren are striking up a strong connection, meaning that Joel Matip will likely continue to watch on from the bench.

As far as the visitors are concerned, Moyes has had a number of injury issues to contend with and is expected to still be without Winston Reid, who has been struggling with a throat infection.

Jose Fonte may therefore be called upon, despite strong links with a move to China, though Arthur Masuaku will definitely miss out as he continues to serve a prolonged ban for spitting at an opponent.

There will also be no Anfield return for the injured Andy Carroll, while Manuel Lanzini - linked with the Reds in January as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho - is touch-and-go.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can; Salah, Firmino, Mane

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Adrian; Fonte, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Antonio; Joao Mario, Hernandez, Arnautovic

Head To Head

Liverpool may have scored eight times on their last two trips to the London Stadium, but at Anfield they have failed to win any of the last three encounters.

The Hammers claimed a 2-2 draw the last time they met there 14 months ago, having also drawn 0-0 in the FA Cup and won 3-0 under Slaven Bilic in the early part of the 2015-16 campaign.

Overall the two sides have faced off 136 times in all competitions, with Liverpool winning 72 of those and losing 28.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Liverpool 3-1 West Ham United

Liverpool have recovered well since losing back-to-back matches against Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion at the end of last month, and they are now hot on the heels of Man United in second place. West Ham, meanwhile, are ticking over nicely points-wise and will be looking up rather than down heading into their next set of fixtures, though this is unlikely to end in anything other than defeat.

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Who will win Saturday afternoon's Premier League meeting between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield?

West Ham United
West Ham United
A hail-swept Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League game between Southampton and Liverpool on February 11, 2018
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