Liverpool will resume their Premier League defence on Saturday when they host West Ham at Anfield.
The Reds have not been at their scintillating best so far this season and have often looked shaky at the back. They’ve been forced to grind out wins both in the Premier League and the Champions League and have looked second best to some opponents at times.
West Ham have made a promising start to the season and are unbeaten in their last four games. Impressive victories over Wolves and Leicester were followed by well-earned draws against Tottenham and Manchester City.
Liverpool’s injury woes were worsened in midweek as stand in centre back Fabinho was forced off with a hamstring injury and is set for a spell on the sidelines. Salah was spotted limping down the tunnel after the Champions League game midweek but Klopp remained tight lipped on his condition.
Thiago could return to the Liverpool squad against West Ham as he returns to fitness after the knee injury he sustained in the Merseyside derby. Joel Matip is not expected to be fit in time and Rhys Williams could make his Premier League debut in a centre-back partnership with Joe Gomez.
Michail Antonio is West Ham’s only injury doubt heading into Saturday’s game, with the striker being substituted for the second game in a row with a hamstring problem. Said Benrahma is expected to make his first appearance in a West Ham shirt and will no doubt be raring to go against Liverpool’s makeshift back four.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Williams, Gomez, Robertson; Shaqiri, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Jota, Firmino, Mane.
West Ham: Fabianski; Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku; Bowen, Soucek, Rice, Fornals; Antonio.
Liverpool have made a decent start to their Premier League defence, winning four out of six games. They have only lost once from open play this season, that defeat coming in the 7-2 thrashing by Aston Villa. They have won their last three in all competitions with victories over Ajax, Sheffield United and Midtjylland (2-0).
The 7-2 defeat handed out by Villa was one to forget for Liverpool, who had a full strength side out on the night. They seem to have put that behind them though and have won difficult games after Virgil van Dijk’s injury.
West Ham have hit the ground running this season and have enjoyed well earned victories over European contenders Wolves and Leicester, beating them 4-0 and 3-0 respectively. One of the Hammers’ most impressive performance this season was the 3-3 draw with Tottenham, as a 12-minute comeback was finished off by a fantastic Manuel Lanzini effort deep into stoppage time.
David Moyes’ side are unbeaten in their last three games and without the added pressure of European football are able to focus their efforts solely on achieving a respectable Premier League finish. They have oozed confidence in their recent matches and have shown themselves capable of causing problems for opponents.
Liverpool 2-0 Midtjylland (27/10)
Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United (24/10)
Ajax 0-1 Liverpool (21/10)
Everton 2-2 Liverpool (17/10)
Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool (4/10)
West Ham 1-1 Manchester City (24/10)
Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 West Ham (18/10)
Leicester 0-3 West Ham (4/10)
Everton 4-1 West Ham (30/9)
West Ham 4-0 Wolves (27/9)
West Ham have hit the ground running this season and have given a good account of themselves against sides like Manchester City and Tottenham. However, Liverpool always seem to find a way to win when their backs are against the wall. This game should be no different.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 West Ham