Liverpool vs West Ham Preview, Possible Lineups & Key Stats


Phillipe Coutinho

Liverpool are yet to concede a single goal this season and have seven points by their name to start the 2015-16 Premier League season.

West Ham started league life very brightly under Slaven Bilić with a 2-0 win at Arsenal. They failed to carry on with the momentum though, losing 2-1 at home to Leicester City and 4-3 at home to Bournemouth.

The Croatian manager has a longer list of absentees than Brendan Rodgers ahead of their trip to Anfield on Saturday.

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The Northern Irish manager looks set to be without the same players he had absent for Monday night’s 0-0 draw at Arsenal.

Daniel Sturridge won’t be back until next month, Jordan Henderson is doubtful, Adam Lallana has a chance of making his return, whilst Joe Allen continues to suffer from a hamstring injury.

Defensively, Jon Flanagan is still out.

West Ham

Adrián serves the second of his three-match ban for his unintentional kick on Jamie Vardy. Darren Randolph will continue in goal after shipping four goals to Bournemouth last weekend.

Carl Jenkinson is also suspended following his red card at home to the Cherries last weekend, and Andy O’Brien may miss out through injury too. James Tomkins is expected to come in at right-back.

Kevin Nolan left the club by mutual consent on Thursday but Bilić has all of his midfield available.

Andy Carroll is always absent, Mauro Zárate is out with a hamstring injury, Enner Valencia has a knee injury, and Diafra Sakho is a doubt for the visitors too. Modibo Maïga anyone?

Predicted Lineups

The back four will remain the same for Brendan Rodgers as they have protected Simon Mignolet extremely well in keeping three clean sheets in three games. Should Jordan Henderson not be fit, Emre Can will keep his place in the midfield. Roberto Firmino was lively in his first start so can be expected to get the nod ahead of Jordon Ibe once again. Philippe Coutinho versus James Tomkins appears to be a good matchup for the home side.

Darren Randolph starts his second game in goal for West Ham. In front of him, James Tomkins will come in at right-back. Which means Angelo Ogbonna may have to start at centre-back against after two dismal performances. Pedro Obiang should start in midfield again with Kevin Nolan one less challengers. It looks as though Modibo Maïga could be West Ham’s only option up front unless Diafra Sakho is fit to play.

Key Matchups

Philippe Coutinho vs James Tomkins
West Ham are down to their third right-back with Carl Jenkinson suspended and Andy O’Brien injured. James Tomkins has experience here and has done a good job previously. However, Philippe Coutinho is on fire at the moment and as a result could be a difference maker for Liverpool in this match. Except Tomkins to get a lot of support from his midfield though in trying to keep the Brazilian quiet.

Christian Benteke vs Angelo Ogbonna
In three matches Christian Benteke only has one controversial goal to his name and did miss a sitter versus Arsenal on Monday. The Belgian striker will surely see opportunities in this match if Angelo Ogbonna starts – the Italian is playing as I predicted before the opening game – rubbish. West Ham have shipped six goals in their past two matches including a hat-trick by Bournemouth’s striker Callum Wilson last weekend.

Dimitri Payet vs Lucas
If there’s one player to cause the Liverpool defence this problem it will likely be Dimitri Payet. The French midfielder has been involved in most positive things for West Ham this season and has the ability to unlock most defences. What options he has to pick out up front, we won’t know until the lineups are named. Lucas put in an excellent performance versus Arsenal last week, so it won’t be easy for West Ham’s big summer signing.

Key Stats

5 – West Ham have seen five red cards in their nine games in all competitions already this season.

42 – Liverpool are uneaten in their last 42 league matches at home to West Ham, winning 31 of those.

270 – Liverpool are yet to concede a goal in 270 minutes this season after conceding six on the final day of last season.

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