Matchday 33 on the verge!! We are back with another nail-biting fixture. It’s West Ham United who will host the Merseysiders (Liverpool ones to be precise). Both the teams with not so good injury record, finally finding their rhythm. One trying to escape the relegation and the other trying to get as close to the European spot as possible. Many parallels can be drawn but the only thing we are interested in who comes out on the top.
The Hosts are enjoying a stable streak of wins lately. The draw at home against the Gunners surely would have given a confidence boost. The cherry on the top being the semi final qualification in Conference League. Hammers would love to get their hands on the trophy, and this season would be turned upside down for them.
Speaking of turn of events, Liverpool has been enjoying good goal scoring matches recently. With Jota back in the squad, he has been seen scoring braces in his previous two matches. This April month was a tough one for the Reds, but except a defeat against city, rest all the matches were more than satisfactory. The comeback against Arsenal was unreal. They will go all out for the European spot but it will be tough.
West Ham United’s PL form: W D W L W
Liverpool’s PL form: W W D D L
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: London Stadium, London.
When: Wednesday, 26th April 2023.
Time: 6:45 PM GMT
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
Assistants: Simon Bennett, James Mainwaring.
Fourth official: Andy Davies.
VAR: Neil Swarbrick.
Assistant VAR: Darren Cann.
The knee surgery has left Scamacca away from this fixture. Moyes will be missing no one except him. Rest everybody is at his disposal.
For the Reds, the absentee list goes as: Roberto Firmino, Stefan Bajcetic, Calvin Ramsay and Naby Keita. One more thing to worry about is that Konate will be assessed by Klopp. But him being available for the fixture lies on the positive side.
David Moyes is a pragmatic coach. He adapts to the game. Recently, all the players are at his disposal, so he starts the match with a 4-3-3 shape. The left back has freedom to explore it a little bit further, while the back 3 (RB being the make shift sort of CB) looks skewed to right. A double pivot at the middle of the park is accompanied by the Brazilian CAM, Paquetá. Meanwhile, in the front 3, Bowen holds the width and Antonio is frequently seen appearing up top the pitch.
The heavy-metal football guy, Klopp starts with a 4-3-3 form. Trent, due to less defensive abilities, has started to tuck into the mid along with Fabinho, lately. This makes Henderson go wide to make up for the defensive duties left by Trent. Liverpool usually deals in long balls. Their players are more spreaded on the wide areas to stretch the opposite team but this creates a lack of density in the mid. So if you are able to play into the middle, you might just hurt Liverpool.
The Brazilian baller will be the one to look out for. He has been registering himself on the scoresheet lately. The simple reason for him to shine in this match is the lack of midfield density by Liverpool. If the long balls are properly dealt with and the double pivot provides him with a good defensive as well as passing play, he will create the magic at the #10 position. If there’s anyone special who can bring surprises, IT IS HIM.
Life has been different for the Reds’ fans since Jota came back from injuries. He has scored brace in his past 2 matches. He would love to add to the tally in this match as well. A crazy fact that I stumbled upon is that Jota is undefeated in all the 35 games that he has scored in for Liverpool. So the formula is as simple as it looks: Jota scores, Liverpool roars.
West Ham predicted starting lineup vs Liverpool: Fabiański; Cresswell, Aguerd, Zouma, Coufal; Paquetá, Rice, Souček; Benrahma, Antonio, Bowen.
Liverpool predicted starting lineup vs West Ham: Alisson; Robertson, Dijk, Konate, Trent; Jones, Fabinho, Henderson; Jota, Gakpo, Salah.