The day is almost here. Liverpool will finally play their game-in-hand on Wednesday against West Ham United.
Within this post, you'll find a recent form guide for both teams, pre-match analysis of squad injuries and strategies, alongside a match prediction and some betting tips.
West Ham are seriously struggling at the moment and are well and truly in a relegation battle. They currently sit in 17th place in the Premier League table on 23 points, clear of the relegation zone on goal difference alone.
Statistically, West Ham have scored just 27 goals in the league this season, an average of 1.17 goals per game. Defensively, they've conceded 38 times, an average of 1.65 goals per game.
More concerning, however, is West Ham's current form. In their previous 5 league games, they won 1, drew 1, and lost 3.
Liverpool will be made up with their performances in the Premier League this season. They currently sit in 1st place in the league table on 67 points, a whopping 16 points clear of 2nd placed Manchester City and they still have this game-in-hand to play.
Liverpool have scored 54 times in the league so far, an average of 2.35 goals per game. Defensively, they've considered just 15 times, an average of 0.65 goals per game.
In their previous 5 league games, Liverpool won all 5.
Head to Head
In the previous 10 games between the clubs, West Ham won 3, Liverpool won 4, and there were 3 draws.
Interestingly, this fixture was somewhat of a banana skin for Liverpool withing 2015-2016. In that time, Liverpool failed to beat West Ham in 5 consecutive games. However, Liverpool have not lost to West Ham in their previous 6 meetings, winning 4 of them.
West Ham need to find some kind of positive run of form and quickly. If not, they could very well be looking at relegation.
One of the issues they're facing is that several of their key players are injured or serious doubts for this game. Fabianksi, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Fredericks, and Anderson will miss out here and Snodgrass is also a doubt.
Strategically, West Ham will need to try to frustrate Liverpool if they're going to get anything out of this game. Committing too many players forward would likely be the undoing of them as Liverpool have so many quality players in attack who thrive on counter-attacks.
Liverpool suffered a frustrating draw to Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Sunday evening but didn't play their first team. Nevertheless, Klopp is likely to send his first players out to rectify that poor performance and get another 3 points here.
Liverpool have been looking a little tired over the last couple of games but a rest at the weekend should see most of the team looking good. On the injury front, Milner and Mane will miss this one out, but Klopp's squad is boosted by returns to the first-team squad for Fabinho, Keita, Shaqiri, Matip, and Lovren.
Strategically, Liverpool will play their normal game here and will look to dominate the tempo. They have the quality to be able to break down this struggling West Ham team but will also look for opportunities to sping counter-attacks to make the most of Salah and Firmino.
The home advantage for West Ham makes things slightly more interesting but, given the form of both team and the quality of players for each side, I can't see anything other than a comfortable Liverpool win here.
- Over 2.5 goals at odds of 1.60 or above is worth a shout here.
- If you're feeling courageous, over 3.5 goals is also interesting at odds of 2.40 or above.