Liverpool vs West Ham preview: latest team news, probable line-ups, score predictions & more
- Latest team news
Sky Sports' editors summed up what we know about the teams and their state at the moment: "New signing Fabinho faces a late fitness test before Klopp decides whether he can make his debut at home to West Ham on Sunday. The Brazilian had a scan on a muscle injury on Thursday but although that came back clear the midfielder was sent home from training after feeling unwell.
"Joe Gomez is expected to be fit after missing Tuesday's friendly against Torino but fellow defenders Ragnar Klavan and Joel Matip are unlikely to be ready while World Cup finalist Dejan Lovren will not be considered having only returned from extended leave at the weekend.
"West Ham will be without Andy Carroll (ankle), Winston Reid (knee), Manuel Lanzini (ACL) and Michail Antonio (ACL) while Yarmolenko (hip) is a doubt. Edimilson Fernandes has a slight knock but Pellegrini confirmed the rest of his squad is fit."
- 8 stats you need to know
- Liverpool have won each of their last three league games against West Ham, scoring four goals in each of those victories; they've never scored 4+ goals in four consecutive top-flight games against a single opponent.
- Against no other side have West Ham lost more top-flight games than against Liverpool (61, level with Everton).
- West Ham have won only one of their last 45 top-flight visits to Anfield to face Liverpool (D12 L32), with that win coming in August 2015 (3-0).
- West Ham have lost their season opener 11 times in the Premier League, more than any other side.
- Liverpool have scored four goals in each of their last three Premier League clashes with West Ham - the only side to have scored 4+ against another in four straight games in the competition are Tottenham against Stoke.
- Sadio Mane has been directly involved in four goals in his three Premier League appearances for Liverpool against West Ham (1 goal, 3 assists).
- The last Liverpool player to score in three consecutive opening top-flight fixtures - as Sadio Mane could do - was John Barnes between 1989-90 and 1991-92.
- New West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has lost more Premier League games against Liverpool than he has vs any other opponent in the competition (P6 W2 D0 L4).
- Probable line-ups
Goal's editors suggest this line-up for Liverpool's game vs West Ham: "The big questions concern Liverpool's defence, with Alexander-Arnold likely to be preferred to Nathaniel Clyne at right-back and Gomez expected to partner Virgil van Dijk at centre-half. If not, Nat Phillips could be in line for his professional debut. In midfield, the question is which player joins Fabinho and Keita. Henderson looks favourite although Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana are options, while Klopp could also draft in Shaqiri or Daniel Sturridge to add an extra man to his attack. Both have impressed during pre-season."
- Score predictions
BBC's Mark Lawrenson: "Both of these teams have had a busy summer in the transfer market and, after struggling last season, West Ham have got to be aiming for the top 10 this time. Liverpool are aspiring to finish a bit higher, obviously, and when I look at the signings that all the teams have made, they look like they have done the best business. I think the Reds will push City for the title this season and I am backing them to begin with a win."
Lawro's prediction: 2-0
Sky's Paul Merson: "I can't see anything but a Liverpool win. West Ham have bought well but so have Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp has targeted where he needs to strengthen and I expect Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri to improve them. They look a really good team and this is a really tough start for Manuel Pellegrini."
Merson's prediction: 2-0
Telegraph's editors: "Though it's too easy to read plenty into pre-season form, it's difficult not to overlook that Liverpool have looked strong in their friendlies. West Ham start afresh - will it take time for their new recruits to gel? Probably longer than these 90 minutes."
Telegraph's prediction: Liverpool 3 West Ham 1
- Key battle
Mohamed Salah vs Aaron Cresswell:
"One of the stars of the Premier League last season, Mohamed Salah will be out to prove his form in 2017/18 was no fluke, as Aaron Cresswell looks to nullify last season's PFA Player of the Year. The 26-year-old is set to occupy his usual wide birth position, looking to use his pace and directness that helped the Egyptian to score 32 times in the league last season, while he is equally as adept at cutting in to link up with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, having provided a further ten assists. It will be a difficult afternoon for Cresswell if he's left isolated with Salah, and will need help from either his centre backs or left winger to double up with him and help contain one of last season's star performers."
- Main quotes
Jurgen Klopp: "My own expectations are always high. Make the best of it. It was pretty normal there would be one season when we would spend more money. We had to create a squad which is strong enough and wide enough to cope with the Premier League. People ask me already if it's the best squad we have ever had - I don't think about that because it's not about what we have now, it's about what we make of it. It's about how often we deliver."
Manuel Pellegrini: "When I talked with the owners, we agreed we needed to work on a project. They wanted to invest money to bring in players. We have improved the squad, all of the players are here because I asked for them. For me as a manager, it's difficult when you don't have options. We have options, I choose the starting XI and they know that during the whole season, you need a strong squad. We have two players in each position and they must work in a competitive way and it's my duty to pick the team I think is the best."