Liverpool vs West Ham – Preview

Exciting New Season Begins at Anfield

Football’s finally back. With the close of the transfer window, Liverpool fans have plenty to look forward to after the high-profile arrivals of Naby Keïta, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker.

Last season ended in agony after defeat in the Champions League final and an unfortunately low, fourth-place finish in the league. This season however, optimism has given the fans an appetite for trophies.

It’s important to not get too far ahead of ourselves though, first up is the new-look Hammers, and West Ham fans too are eyeing the 2018/19 season with enthusiasm.

Liverpool

Team News and Predicted Lineup

livham

Liverpool unfortunetly find themselves in the midst of a miniture injury crisis before a ball’s been kicked.

Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dejan Lovren are unlikely to be involved due to their extended foray in the World Cup. They’ll be joined on the sidelines by the injured Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip.

Joe Gomez is also carrying a knock but is tipped to play, unlike Fabinho who could see his debut delayed due to a muscle strain. Daniel Sturridge and Shaqiri could feature as well though, but it is more likely that they will come off the bench when needed for now.

West Ham

Team News and Predicted Lineup

livhamham.jpg

West Ham have made what feels like a dozen new signings, and quite a few of them should make their debuts at Anfield.

The front three and midfield more or less picks itself while the newer signings are bedded in, although it’s possible that Javier Hernandez and Pedro Obiang could force themselves into the lineup.

The only surprise should be whether Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena start ahead of Arthur Masuaku and Issa Diop.

Pre-Game Analysis

It is crucial that Liverpool start the season with a bang in order to put early pressure on Manchester City; anything less than three points at home against a new West Ham side must be seen as a failure.

West Ham’s danger man will undoubtedly be Marko Arnautovic, but if the Reds can shut him down, then West Ham’s chances of scoring will fade dramatically.

While everyone gets back up to speed and on board with Klopp’s style, a larger share of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of our front three to help the team over the line for the first run of games. The likes of Cresswell and Balbuena may badly struggle to contain the threat they possess though.

Prediction

It could be a nervy day for a few players on both sides, and an early goal for the home team could help settle those nerves in our favor.

It’s a tricky game to predict given how interrupted our pre-season has been and how little we know about this West Ham side, but the expectation has to be to win.

West Ham fans feel that this is the best possible time to play Liverpool, and they may not be wrong, but I’m predicting an emphatic 3-0 win on the opening day for the Reds. A good start to what will hopefully be a great season.

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

 

Cieren O’Dea

 

Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – 12/08/2018

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