|English Premier League 2014-15|
||vs|| West Ham United
ScheduleSaturday, 31 January 2015 at 14:00 GMT / 14:00 UK / 19:30 IST
VenueAnfield Road (Liverpool)
Next Saturday, 31st of January 2015, a rejuvenated Liverpool will measure forces with an impressive West Ham at the emblematic Anfield Road for round 23 of the English Premier League, a match after which, if the home side manages to clinch the three points, they will be able to change places with the Hammers at the league table.
It is fair to say that Liverpool are currently experiencing their best moment of the new season so far. The Reds are on a 10-match run without a single defeat on all competitions and the level of their performances has also increased in terms of game’s quality. Brendan Rodgers claimed recently that they will keep improving but, at the same time, he sent some internal messages to the team, mainly to Mario Balotelli, stating that he needs to shape up, something that has raised some doubts on the future of the Italian star’s future at Anfield Road.
Liverpool’s last match was against the Championship side of Bolton at home for the FA Cup, but, despite all the efforts, the Reds failed to overcome the opponent’s goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, who put up a vintage performance helping his team secure an important goalless draw at the end of the 90 minutes.
When it comes to EPL, Liverpool’s next fixture will certainly be far from easy, especially if we have in mind their opponents’ recent performances and results. A win against the Hammers will allow Liverpool to decrease the point gap to the top five teams of the league table but they will surely need dig deep in order the achieve that. For that particular match, Brendan Rodgers will not be able to rely on the services of Jones and Flanagan, who are currently sidelined due to injury. On the other hand, the Northern Irish manager will certainly be happy to know that Daniel Sturridge is already fully recovered from his long-term injury and he is ready to help the team.
Before the clash against the Hammers, Liverpool will travel to London to measure forces with José Mourinho’s Chelsea for the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals and the outcome of such important match could somehow influence the Reds’ future performances.
As for West Ham, they have been having a brilliant campaign so far, especially when compared to what they have done last season. On the last round of the EPL, the Hammers achieved a solid and important home 3-0 win against a relegation threatened Hull City thanks to goals by Andy Carroll, Amalfitano and Stewart Downing.
For the Anfield Road upcoming match, the Hammers’ boss, Sam Allardyce, will probably still not be able to rely on the contribution of Collins, Demel, Sahko and Tomkins, all currently sidelined due to injury.
Despite of West Ham’s recent good performances, Liverpool are favourites to win the upcoming fixture that, nevertheless, will definitely be a very close one.
Stats: W-3 L-0 D-2
Recent Form - DDWWW
Stats: W-3 L-0 D-2
Recent Form - WWWDD
Liverpool (3-4-3) – Mignolet - Sahko - Skrtel - Can - Leiva - Henderson - Markovic - Gerrard - Sterling - Coutinho - Lallana
West Ham (4-3-3) - Adrian -Jenkinson - O’Brien - Reid - Cresswell - Song - Noble - Nolan - Downing -Valencia - Carroll