Who: Liverpool vs West Ham
When: Saturday, October 31st @ 1:30pm ET
Line: Liverpool -278 | Draw +430 | West Ham +700
When Premier League matchday 7 lines came out, this one immediately popped.
Liverpool are probably the best team in Premier League so far this season. xPTs has them pegged that way. But they’re missing Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho. And they’ve only had a couple of truly dominant matches this campaign.
West Ham…aren’t bad! They’re fifth in xPTs this season with a +4 goal differential. They’ve showed real grit too, having gutted out a come-frome-behind 3-3 draw vs Spurs.
Can the Hammers pull out some points at Anfield?
Here’s a Liverpool vs West Ham matchday 7 preview.
Liverpool vs West Ham matchday 7 preview
Liverpool, like the other Big 6 and Leicester, are in the midst of a nearly unprecedented fixture clog. European football is every week. Squad depth is being challenged.
This is especially true for Liverpool.
Along with VVD, Fab, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Reds are potentially missing Thiago, The Looks Great in Training Naby Keita, Konstantinos Tsimikas, and Joel Matip.
They’ll likely be forced to start up-and-comer Rhys Williams at center-back with Joe Gomez. The good news is both players have looked solid recently. The bad news is they’re young and prone to ups and downs.
Jurgen Klopp has some challenges in his line-up selection. Despite scoring last weekend, Roberto Firmino is in poor form. Diogo Jota looks like the real deal and fits right in. Does Klopp go with a 4-2-3-1 again to provide some central defensive cover but also to find more time for Jota?
That certainly makes the most sense. West Ham is scoring goals. At 30, Michail Antonio is having a resurgent season. His veteran savvy will be a lot for Williams and Gomez to handle by themselves if allowed to play more centrally.
Declan Rice is fulfilling his potential nicely this year and will make it difficult for Liverpool to simply boss the central mid. This is where Thiago’s potential absence hurts the most.
Coming out of their mid-week win against Midtjylland, Xherdan Shaqiri will have given Klopp something to think about in mid. After a quiet first half, Shaq came alive in the second and often looked like the Reds best player. He was operating more centrally that match as well.
However, it’s really down the wings that the Reds have to sweat. West Ham have been very effective on picking their spots on counters and striking down the wings. Liverpool’s high-press is breakable.
Expect an open, high-octane match. This one feels like the opener against Leeds. Look for a 3-2 / 4-3 Reds win.