West Ham vs Liverpool
They are made of tough stuff in the East End of London; when Premier League leaders Liverpool come to town, they are sure to get a frosty reception.
Much of the UK has been covered in snow this week, and the London Stadium will be no place for the faint-hearted in the biting cold. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool need to stay cool, though, as the temperature in the title race is beginning to get rather warm.
The Premier League 2019 betting odds will stay with Liverpool as long as they keep winning; the leaders are available at 1.48 while Manchester City are at 2.70 here at us. But the Reds failed to take advantage of City’s midweek slip-up against Newcastle United. A draw with Leicester City left the Reds five points clear of the champions, and that’s a gap which keeps the Manchester crowd very interested.
Will Marko make the match?
The big Premier League 2019 news is around the treatment table. Liverpool’s defensive injury list has been well-documented, but a blessing for the Reds and a curse for the Hammers seemingly emerged this week when Marko Arnautovic limped away from the ground on crutches, following a midweek defeat to Wolves.
The enigmatic Austrian has just signed a new contract at the London Stadium shortly after enthusiastically advertising his desire to leave the Hammers, so the faithful Iron fans don’t really know what to think. And news in today suggests that he may have made a miraculous recovery and make it to face Liverpool. If he doesn’t, then Manuel Pellegrini has the goals of Felipe Anderson to call on. The Brazilian is top scoring with eight, not a bad return since his £36m switch from Lazio. And he is proving to be a real handful for defences up and down the country.
Javier Hernandez could also feature if Arnautovic isn’t fit, and the Hammers have the capability to spring a surprise after beating Arsenal 1-0 thanks to young midfield star Declan Rice.
This will be no walk in the park for the visitors.
Liverpool want to avoid another sucker punch
There may be a few sweaty palms in Liverpool, certainly among fans yearning for a long-awaited league title, if not in the players. With a great chance to go seven points clear at the top of the league, Liverpool showed some signs of the pressure mounting in the title race, failing to beat Leicester after going ahead in the third minute. The Reds were on the attack when Leicester hit them with a counter-punch seconds before the half time whistle, and they never really recovered.
Manuel Pellegrini preparing himself as they face Premier League leaders Liverpool
West Ham are likely to concede much of the ball and try to hit Liverpool on the break, and they could easily give the league leaders a nasty shock with the pace and trickery of Anderson in their ranks. Goalkeeper Alisson looked decidedly shaky on Wednesday after conceding three in the previous game to Crystal Palace.
Jurgen Klopp’s side must be patient and not over-commit. With Mo Salah and Sadio Mane leading their attack, they have the ability to score in a split second.
Recent results don’t tell the whole story of this fixture. Sure thing, West Ham lost three matches in a row, but they were all away from home. And in the two games before that, they had back-to-back wins at the London Stadium. Their passionate fans will roar them on at the first sign of weakness in an opponent.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s away league record this season reads nine wins, two draws and a solitary defeat. But the Reds have lost two of the last three away in all competitions, including a FA Cup defeat to Wolves.
The head-to-heads are well in the favourites’ favour as Liverpool won 28, drawn ten and lost ten of these meetings since 1993; the Hammers have failed to beat Liverpool on any of the last four occasions.
||West Ham vs Liverpool
||West Ham Asian Handicap +1.50 @ 1.86
|February 5, 04:00 (GMT+8)
Make no mistake: this is another big test of Liverpool’s title credentials. West Ham are a wounded animal after three defeats and a tongue-lashing from their boss. Coach Pellegrini laid into his players after the dreadful 3-0 defeat to Wolves in midweek, three days after saying he was ashamed of their performance in the FA Cup against lower-league opponents Wimbledon.
Liverpool are at 2.07 to win by two goals or more, something they have failed to do in the last five games. I think they will find it very hard to break down a Hammers team determined to show their manager and fans just what they are capable of. And the Eastenders love to play the underdog with a nasty bite.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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