Premier League champions Liverpool welcome West Ham United to Anfield in Saturday evening’s EPL action.
Liverpool appear to have adjusted well to the season-ending injury to their captain and defensive linchpin Virgil van Dijk, racking up three straight wins since that eventful Merseyside derby.
The latest of these was the midweek 2-0 victory over Midtjylland in the second round of Champions League fixtures, with goals from summer signing Diogo Jota who has had an amazing start to his Liverpool career and Mohamed Salah who came on as a second-half substitute.
Liverpool’s defensive woes worsened however with makeshift centre-back Fabinho coming off in the first half of this game with what seemed like a thigh injury. 19-year-old Rhys Williams who came on for him might get his first Premier League minutes in a starting role in this match.
West Ham meantime, after starting the season with two losses against Newcastle and Arsenal, have turned things around and have gone unbeaten in the next four games against arguably tougher opponents – beating Wolves 4-0 and Leicester 3-0 away and sharing the spoils with Tottenham and Man City in back-to-back games.
Those dominant performances against the midland outfits and the credible draws against top 4 chasing teams has certainly jolted a dash of confidence within David Moyes’ outfit coming into this match.
Their record against Liverpool is quite appalling particularly in recent seasons, with Liverpool winning 6 of their last 7 encounters, including both games from last season. However, given Liverpool’s defensive crises, David Moyes and his troops might well smell some blood and try and give them a run for their money.
It is worth noting that even before van Dijk’s injury and the subsequent injuries to other Reds defenders, their defence looked to be in shambles as they started their defence of the Premier League crown. The injuries have just made things worse for them. With Fabinho’s latest setback it looks increasingly likely that his 19-year-old replacement Rhys Williams, who is yet to play a Premier League game, might be slotted alongside Gomez at the back. West Ham have played exceedingly well against the top teams and they will certainly ask questions particularly of the youngster. We can see both teams getting decent chances in the game and we are backing both teams to score @ 1.62 with Cloudbet as our initial betting tip for the game.
David Moyes has instilled a sense of belief in his squad and despite the very grim fixture list they have had to deal with, they’ve come out relatively unscathed so far. They play with a free spirit and attack with verve. Liverpool meantime, despite their defensive struggles, have one of the best attacks in the leagues and their front three of Mane, Salah and Firminho will be fired up after getting a rest in the midweek game. We can expect an all-out attacking spectacle and we fancy this will yield quite a few corners in the game hence why we are backing Over 9.5 corners @ 1.48 with Cloudbet as our final tip.
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