Monday’s performance at Hull was one those that had us both excited for the future of the side and, undoubtedly, crying out “WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!?”
The attacking football we put on show was brilliant, yet it all become pretty pointless when you’ve got a leaky defence. And pointless could be what we end up with today if we can’t plug the gaps and flush out the errors in our defence against a ridiculously dangerous attacking side in Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were lucky to take all three points away from the Boleyn Ground last season, thanks to two Steven Gerrard penalties. And if we can replicate our performance at Hull and Liverpool continue their struggles without Daniel Sturridge, there’s every chance we can get some sort of revenge this afternoon by recording our first home win of the campaign.
That’s not to say it won’t be difficult, because it will. We all know how Liverpool are and how ruthless they can be going forward when they’re at their best. That’s why our defence is going to be at the very top of their game today, with Winston Reid no doubt being tasked with unsettling Mario Balotelli, much like the way Aston Villa’s Senderos did at Anfield last weekend.
If we can do that then we’ll have every chance of taking something from this game. Of course we’ll need the likes of Enner Valencia, Alex Song, Stewart Downing and Diafra Sakho on top form as well – another bit of magic from Enner Valencia would be pretty special, wouldn’t it?
Our home record against Liverpool in recent seasons hasn’t been great although, if I remember correctly, we haven’t particularly played badly against them at home. It’s just been that they’re a very good side and always have been. But they’re beatable, which Villa showed perfectly last Saturday.
So let’s hope Allardyce gets the boys pumped up and in the right system to counteract Liverpool’s strength’s and we can take something from the game.
Prediction: A point would be decent, but something tells me we could get all three.
West Ham United (13th, 4 points)
Sam Allardyce is expected to name an unchanged side to the one that drew 2-2 with Hull last Monday night.
If not, Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson could be handed their first West Ham starts.
Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan and Joey O’Brien are all still sidelined through injury.
Liverpool (8th, 6 points)
Liverpool welcome back defender Martin Skrtel after recovering from a knee injury.
But Daniel Sturrdige misses out again through injury, while Jon Flanagan is also out having had knee surgery earlier this week.
Potential Starting XI…
Last 10 Meetings…
|6 Apr 2014||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 2-1|
|7 Dec 2013||Premier League||Anfield||L 4-1|
|7 Apr 2013||Premier League||Anfield||D 0-0|
|9 Dec 2012||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-2|
|27 Feb 2011||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 3-1|
|20 Nov 2010||Premier League||Anfield||L 3-0|
|19 Apr 2010||Premier League||Anfield||L 3-0|
|19 Sep 2009||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-2|
|9 May 2009||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-0|
|1 Dec 2008||Premier League||Anfield||D 0-0|
Match in Numbers…
1 – West Ham have won just one of their last 22 league meetings with Liverpool
1 – And the Hammers also kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 home meetings with Liverpool
4 – Sam Allardyce’s side have lost four of their last five Premier League home matches
7 – West Ham have lost seven of their last eight 5.30pm kick-offs, drawing the other one
4 – The Hammers have scored four goals from outside the box so far this season, which equals their total from the whole of last season
33 – From their 11 away games so far in 2014, Liverpool haven’t failed to find the net and have scored 33 goals in the process
3 – Liverpool have lost three of their five league games when Daniel Sturridge has not played
17 – If Liverpool score today they will set a new club top-flight record of scoring in 17 consecutive away games
Head-to-Head (all competitions)…
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||GD +/-||Win %|