LIVERPOOL VS WEST HAM UNITED: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool are back in action tonight as they take on West Ham at Anfield. The Reds are of course coming off the back of a hugely impressive victory over Manchester City whilst David Moyes’ side drew at Southampton last time out. Here’s how we expect Jürgen Klopp to line up his side.
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Diogo Jota’s injury is a massive blow for the Reds. The Portuguese international has been a breath of fresh air since he recovered from the hamstring injury that dogged him all summer. He might not have gotten on the score sheet but he’s been a creative outlet.
His tally of 5 assists is the best in the Liverpool squad this campaign, with only Salah (34) and Alexander-Arnold (24) creating more chances than him (18) despite only featuring 8 times. It will be interesting to see just how the Reds cope without him and Luis Diaz.
Also absent are Calvin Ramsay, Ibrahima Konaté and Joel Matip. The Scottish full back took in half an hour of action with the U21s last night as he steps up his recovery. Naby Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are also close to a return having featured in training yesterday.
In goal as usual will be Alisson Becker. The Brazilian stopper kept what was just his third league clean sheet of the season in the victory over City. He continued his imperious form as he denied Haaland and co before setting up Salah for the winning goal with a stunning pass.
Ahead of him in the back four, Alexander-Arnold could come back in for James Milner who was absolutely rock solid against Foden on Sunday. The Scouser marked his return to fitness with a late cameo in that game and should be fine to start tonight.
The rest of the backline will likely remain the same, although we could see Tsimikas come back in for Robertson. The Scot only recently returned from a knee injury and put in a lot of hard graft on Sunday. It is probably more likely he’ll will get taken off as the game wears on.
With both Ibou and Matip out, Gomez will get the chance to line up alongside Virgil once again. The duo were back to their absolute best last time out and will face a different kind of test against the Hammers. It will be a more physical game tonight, with loads of set pieces and fights for second balls.
In midfield, the manager could go same again after the double pivot of Fabinho and Thiago worked a treat against the defending champions. Jordan Henderson offers the option of a fresher pair of legs and a level of physicality. The battle against Rice and Soucek will be fascinating.
It goes without saying that the 4-4-2 system will have to be maintained. It has coincided in a turnaround of form for the side. We should see Harvey Elliott continue on the right flank of that formation after his matured display against Guardiola’s side.
This will allow Mohamed Salah once again line up centrally. The Egyptian has rediscovered his goalscoring touch since being deployed at the tip of the forward line. He had Jota behind him at Ibrox, before dovetailing well with Firmino at the weekend.
Bobby put in an incredible shift and looked goosed after 70. This could see Carvalho and Darwin Nunez could come in for the Brazilian and the injured Jota. That would mean Carvalho in behind Salah as the number ten, a role he excelled in last season for Fulham.
He came on to good effect on Sunday and will be aiming to capitalise on the injuries to Diaz and Jota to establish himself in the side. He can as well play on the left wing, allowing for Darwin to pair up with Salah through the middle. The Uruguayan can do a job on the left wing as well.
There will be lots of interchanging movement in attack so as to increase the unpredictability of the side. That has to be the case if a stubborn Hammers rearguard is to be breached. The two youngsters (Carvalho and Elliott) will have to stand up against West Ham’s physical approach.
Firmino will then offer an option off the bench later in the game. The Reds will have to find a way to clinch all three points. West Ham won’t make it easy. Injuries have limited the attacking options somewhat but there can be no excuses tonight.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott, Carvalho, Darwin, Salah.
Subs: Kelleher, Ramsay, Tsimikas, Phillips, Bajcetic, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino.