At 14:15 G.M.T. on Sunday Afternoon, Liverpool travel to London stadium to take on a resurgent West Ham United. Stakes are as high as they can get as Liverpool’s season reaches its climax.
There are plenty of mixed feelings in Merseyside going into this encounter. Extremely disappointed with last week’s dire draw at home to Southampton, many Liverpool supporters are finding it hard to genuinely believe that their side has what it takes to get the job done.
The Reds have won each of their last three Premier League games away from home. However, the fact that their last three games at Anfield have barred zero wins means that questions still linger over their inability to dispatch of inferior opposition. Another week of frustrating points dropped could send some fans over the edge.
Complaints have been ranging from distaste with the club’s ownership to some even claiming that the manager’s job depends on this result. Other supporters are just angry because supporters are angry and unity seems lacking at a time when it’s so desperately needed.
In addition to their own conflicts within, West Ham seem unlikely to make it any easier for their visitors. The Hammers are unbeaten in their last five matches, keeping four clean sheets along the way.
Last week’s hugely impressive victory over Tottenham is probably the one that gives Liverpool fans the most fear. West Ham looked buoyed, organised, and lively. The Reds will be praying that was only due to the fact that Bilic’s men just wanted to win one of their fiercest derbies.
If Liverpool are to stand any chance, however, you would have to think that it begins with Jurgen Klopp starting the match with his best eleven players on the pitch. Many were left perplexed last week when both Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge were left on the substitutes bench.
Both Englishmen have a quality in the final third that very few in the squad are able to replicate. Lallana is imperious at drifting in between the lines and being incredibly efficient with only a few touches on the ball.
Daniel Sturridge is far and away the most natural goal-scorer at the club, he’s brilliant at creating a quick separation between him and his defender, allowing him to get a quick shot off. And when he gets a chance (especially on his left foot) he’s the most capable of putting it away.
I’m a fan of Origi but he hasn’t been cutting it lately, and ruthlessness in front of goal is required now more than ever. Similarly, Lucas Leiva has brought some rare stability into the base of the midfield but that’s simply not what’s needed right now.
With West Ham likely to play three at the back, as they’ve done all season. The midfield is there to be dominated by Liverpool; and a midfield consisting of Can, Wijnaldum, and Lallana is most equipped to do that.
This weekend brings forth yet another round of fixtures in which Liverpool will have a good idea of where they stand before they even play their match, with City and Arsenal playing on Saturday. The last time this happened The Reds came back from Vicarage Road with all three points. Come back from London Stadium with a similar result and a top four finish is as good as theirs.