Liverpool – West Ham United (Premier League)
Saturday Liverpool will play host for West Ham United. Anfield Road is still living the euphoria of Suárez last performance and Manager Rodgers will want his team to stabilize at this high pace. The Red’s track record against the Hammers is very comfortable too. So how will Sam Allardyce fight that?
The eyes of the world are still in awe due to Luis Suárez four amazing hits against Norwich City. At least three of those could be deemed “goal of the month” anywhere in the world. It was like a showcase of a striker’s bag of tricks, a top one I mean. Let’s see. A thirty-five half volley, check. Finalizing a corner, flickering the ball over the opponent’s shoulder and then shoot, and a flawless free kick. Check, check, check! Oh, sorry, assisting Raheem Sterling’s in sealing the final 5-1score. Also check. Suárez is now the top scorer of the Premier League with 13 goals in 9 games. It’s a hit for approximately every hour he has been on the pitch, 62′ to be precise. Sturridge watched from the sidelines but he can rest assure, his partner is pitching in for both of them.
The Reds are in fourth, with 27 points. Just one separates them from Manchester City, above, and Everton, bellow. Before Wednesday they had a baffling 3-1 loss at the KC Stadium facing the Tigers. That was not on the program. Brendan Rodgers has been shuffling the lineup often. That makes Liverpool’s game always exciting to watch, a challenge to the opposition but carries some risks. We all know how it works, if it pays off he is adventurous. If not, he’s reckless.
Daniel Sturridge (ankle) and José Enrique (knee) will only be returning to the squad in January. Kolo Touré, though, is becoming a possibility.
Probable line-up: Mignolet – Glenn Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Jon Flanagan – Gerrard, Leiva – Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling – Luis Suárez.
Tough week for Sam Allardyce. After the well-deserved 3 points won at Craven Cottage the frustration of being defeat at home by Crystal Palace. Chamakh of all people made the winner, call it the Tony Pulis effect. It’s is time to bounce back. The Black Cats first half was painful to see but the Hammers did not find a way to turn it to their favour. In the second half Palace had a burst of will power and run on it alone. Again, West Ham seemed clueless, incapable of turning things around.
They are 17th with 13 points to their name. West Ham United was only three times victorious in their 14 fixtures in the Premier League this season. Strangely enough two of them were comprehensive wins over teams sitting in the top half of the table, Tottenham and Fulham. They are dangerously close the relegation zone with a 3 point gap to the Cottagers. They need to put some score on the board and looking ahead it won’t be easy. For starter they have a Schedule made in hell until the end of December. Five League games and another one for the the Capital One Cup in three and a half weeks. Breath. Liverpool, Tottenham, United and West Bromwich away. Sunderland and Arsenal at Upton Park. The goal drought has been a huge headache for Allardyce. They have scored 12 goals so far, Suárez alone has one more than all of the Hammers squad. Praying for Andy Carroll’s return is sheer desperation, starting Carlton Cole hasn’t helped.
Ravel Morrison is suspended for this game following his fifth yellow card. Sam Allardyce still can’t count on long-term absentees Winston Reid (ankle), Carrol (ankle) Vaz Te (shoulder) and Alou Diarra (ACL).
Probable line-up: Jaaskelainen – Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O’Brien – Nolan, Diamé, Noble – Downing, Jarvis – Carlton Cole.
This will be West Ham’s fortieth attempt to win at Anfield Road and they have been trying unsuccessfully since 1963. All they got until now was 29 defeats and 11 draws. That is heavy. Can this be it for the Hammers?