Preview: West Ham United v Liverpool

‘He was smashing it past me’ – England keeper Heaton on Hudson Odoi

As the season draws to a close, West Ham could dent Liverpool’s top four hopes with a win at London Stadium on Sunday.

Premier League
14 May 2017
Matchday 37
Kickoff: 17:30
Venue: White Hart Lane

Referee: N. Swarbrick
Assistants: D. Cann, M. Scholes
Fourth official: R. East

Head-to-head summary:

West Ham United 112 24 29 59
Liverpool 112 59 29 24

Previous encounter:

Liverpool 2-2 West Ham United (11/12/2016) Premier League

Liverpool goalscorers: A. Lallana (5′), D. Origi (48′)
West Ham United goalscorers: D. Payet (27′), M. Antonio (39′)

Players to watch:

A plethora of injuries has left West Ham woefully short of options in attack and they may look to Manuel Lanzini to do the business for them against Liverpool. He scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Tottenham last week, that ended their hopes of catching Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Philippe Coutinho is the man Liverpool regularly look to for inspiration and Sunday’s game will be no different as the Reds chase a Champions league spot. The Brazilian has 10 goals to his name for the season.


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Team form and manager quotes:

The Hammers have nothing but pride to play for – except potentially Slaven Bilic’s job, with the West Ham boss under pressure for his teams’ under performance in the league this season. They will therefore want to put in a solid display against Liverpool to end the season a high, ahead of a final game of the season against Burnley.

They come into this game in 12th place with 42 points – and on the back of that 1-0 win over Spurs, after three successive draws, 2-2 with Sunderland, 0-0 with Everton and 0-0 with Stoke.

Liverpool, in fourth with 70 points, are by no means guaranteed a top-four finish. They are just a point clear of Manchester City and three clear of Arsenal, but having played a game more than both of those sides.

They last drew 0-0 with Southampton, after two wins, a loss against Crystal Palace and a 1-0 win over Watford.

Ahead of the match, Bilic told the club’s official website that he is struggling with a number of injuries.

“The team news is from the team that played against Spurs, we are without Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate, but the good thing is that the players who will start against Liverpool have all played a lot of games this season because of their form, or because of injuries. We will still put out a really good team.

“Andy Carroll isn’t going to play. He is still feeling his hip or groin – it’s in that area and since the last three or four weeks its been like a 50/50 chance whether he’ll play, but unfortunately he can’t.”

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: “I’ve said it before, it always felt like if we don’t win then this and this happens. It’s something really you have to learn by. The pressure is coming at the end of the season, that’s how it is. If you have no pressure you don’t go for anything, that’s the 100 per cent truth.

“We have this kind of pressure, that’s the problem at the top of the table, all the competitors are really strong and they can all win football games, but we are strong also.

“We have a difficult game to play against West Ham. It’s very important, how important we will see but it’s more than 100 per cent possible and we are focused already and we will be focused on our job.”

Team news:

Mark Noble (abdominal), Cheikhou Kouyate (wrist), Andy Carroll (groin), Arthur Masuaku (foot), Diafra Sakho (back), Michail Antonio (hamstring) are all out for West Ham.

Liverpool will hand fitness tests to Roberto Firmino and Lucas Leiva, with the duo suffering from muscle issues.

Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge are fit for selection.