LIVERPOOL VS WEST HAM UNITED: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool are back in Premier League action later today when they face West Ham. The Hammers are chasing Champions League qualification whilst the Reds look to wrestle the title away from Manchester City’s grip. We look at how Liverpool could line up this evening.
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Roberto Firmino (adductor), Thiago Alcantara (hamstring) and Joel Matip (illness) are all ruled out, whilst Naby Keita and Curtis Jones will undergo late fitness checks. Jürgen Klopp is sure to recall his rested superstars after giving them a breather in midweek.
Matip’s unavailability means the manager has a decision to make at centre back. Same goes for midfield if Jones and Keita join Thiago on the sidelines. Whereas in attack, it’s more an abundance of riches even in Firmino’s absence.
In goal, Alisson Becker will continue. The Brazilian international returned to the side in the FA Cup against Norwich and made a brilliant save late on to prevent extra time. He was targeted at set pieces in the reverse fixture and will have a bit of point to prove today.
Ahead of him, Trent, Virgil and Robbo should return after being given a breather in midweek. Trent and Virgil were left out completely whilst Robertson was an unused substitute. Alongside the big man in the heart of defence, will be either Konaté or Gomez.
Ibou seems the logical choice. He’s got more rhythm due to playing more minutes than Joe. It also helps that Klopp loves to bring him in against teams with powerful and pacy forwards. His extra time introduction to deal with Lukaku was a case in point.
Michail Antonio is a similar striker as he’s got pace to burn and is very physical. Matip struggled with Antonio in the reverse fixture earlier this season so perhaps it’s no bad thing for Konaté to step in. Gomez will at least make the bench this time around.
In the middle of the park, Fabinho and Henderson are shoo-ins. The third slot could go to either Jones or Keita (if passed fit). Should they both miss out, then it’s down to Milner, Ox and Elliott. Milner in midfield with Fabinho and Henderson hasn’t worked well this season.
Ox is inconsistent and you never seem to know which version will turn up. Elliott meanwhile played 40 minutes in the final on Sunday and then 45 against Norwich on Wednesday. Asking him to start here might be a bit too much, considering he’s not long back from a five month layoff.
It is a slight quandary for the manager to grapple with. I think he’ll settle for Ox (if Keita/Jones don’t make it), simply for his ability to get away from a man in midfield. The midfield battle will as usual prove key to winning the match with West Ham boasting the impressive Declan Rice.
Upfront, Mo Salah is a sure pick on the right wing. He’s had almost a week’s rest and should be in the mood to continue his charge to a third Golden Boot award. Picking the two players alongside him is not so straightforward.
Jota, Mané and Diaz are all fit and available. As are Origi and Minamino who impressed against Norwich. Diaz is a man in form at the moment but I wonder if Klopp wouldn’t want to have him as a sub to bring on later against tired legs.
Against a stubborn West Ham side, the manager could opt for the tried and tested trio of Mané, Jota and Salah. Mané could reprise his role on the left wing with Jota leading the line. It is for sure a good problem to have juggling all these forward options.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Jota, Mané.
Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Morton, Elliott, Diaz, Minamino, Origi.
2 thoughts on “LIVERPOOL VS WEST HAM UNITED: PREDICTED LINEUP”
Hahahaha you got that right about what version of Ox would come up today, the midfield battle will decide the game, Henderson wouldn’t want to be bested by Declan Rice and would want to put in a captains performance today.
I think Klopp would still go with Salah, Mané and Diaz with Mané playing through the middle. It should be an interesting match up. YNWA 🔴
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That would also be interesting
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