Liverpool return to Anfield this weekend to face the current UEFA Europa Conference League winners West Ham. The Reds are one of the few teams without a defeat so far this season while West Ham has only one. The Hammers started the season well with 3 wins in a row before falling to the hands of Manchester City. They would be looking to bounce back against a strong Liverpool opposition this week.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side are just behind Manchester City in the points table with 13 points with players such as Virgil Van Dijk and Stefan Bajcetic returning. West Ham, on the other hand, currently sits 6th and has started the season well without their long-term serving captain Declan Rice. Star signing Mohammed Kudus needs to open his goal-scoring account while James Ward Prowse with his 5 goal involvements looks to have settled pretty well at his new home in London.
When, Where & Who will officiate?
The match will take place at Anfield on Sunday the 24th of September at 2:30 PM BST. Chris Kavanagh will officiate the match, with the likes of Mat Wilkes and Mark Scholes will be his assistants. Craig Pawson will have the role of the fourth official. Meanwhile, on VAR duty, David Coote will be in charge with Nick Greenhalgh will act as his assistant.
While both teams will be returning from their European adventures Liverpool will have more depth to their team with captain Virgil Van Dijk returning from suspension, Konate is also expected to start. Though Trent Alexander Arnold is back to full fitness there’s still a doubt about his involvement in the game. Veteran Thiago still has no return date and after impressing in the pre-season Conor Bradley needs to wait a little longer to make his first-team debut as his recent injury is set to keep him out at least till January.
West Ham has a fully fit and ready-to-go squad with forward Michail Antonio confident about his team’s chances to take the win at Anfield. Not only does he predict a win in the upcoming matchday he also believes that the Hammers will finish above Liverpool at the end of the season.
Match Analysis & Key Players
Liverpool will play with their usual 4-3-3 formation but will look not to concede an early goal like they have in their last few matches. Mac Allister has been playing in the number 6 role but hasn’t been able to show his usual flair. Bajcetic and Endo are not expected to start as both have played Liverpool’s recent match in the UEFA Europa League.
The Red’s new number 8 has given the fans a good night’s sleep. Dominik Szoboszlai has been one of the Premier League’s best signing and he also just won Liverpool’s Player of the Month. Mohamed Salah is relishing in his creative role with 3 assists in his last game alone. Jota and Gakpo are expected to start and the two have combined well whenever they have been together on the pitch.
West Ham, on the other hand, has some pretty good names on their list as well and new signing Kudus who might not start will be ready to show why he has been so highly rated by clubs throughout Europe. Former Liverpool target Jarred Bowen has had a great start to the season with 3 goals to his name while Pep’s favourite Lucas Paqueta will also be likely to cause some problems for Liverpool. Ward Prowse is by far one of the best performers for the Hammers this season and his deadball abilities will make Liverpool well aware of not to give silly fouls around the box. Eyes will be on Antonio after his big statements against Liverpool.
Liverpool will go into the match with confidence and lots of returning players while West Ham will look to pose an upset at Anfield.
Liverpool predicted XI: Allison, Gomez,Van Dijk, Konate,Robertson, Jones, Mac Allister,Szoboszlai, Salah,Gakpo and Jota.
West Ham predicted XI: Areola, Coufal, Zouma, N. Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez, Souček, Bowen, Ward-Prowse, L. Paquetá, Antonio.