West Ham United v Liverpool: Can Klopp’s Men Expect to Maintain League Advantage Over Mis-Firing Hammers?
This weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures is the first to follow the conclusion of the January Transfer Window. Teams have been frantically scouring the market to bring in additions and subtractions to their respective squads, to try and eek out further improvement until the end of the season in May.
West Ham have made squad changes over the course of the last month, but their recent form will be more worrying to Hammers’ boss, Manuel Pellegrini, with Premier League leaders Liverpool being the next opponents at the London Stadium on Monday night – kick: off – 20:00 GMT.
The Hammers have lost their last two league outings against Wolves and Bournemouth, and they were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup recently by League One side, AFC Wimbledon. The arrival of the high-flying Merseysiders will be a very stern test for Pellegrini’s side, but some of West Ham’s best performances have been against some of the Premier League’s top six, as Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have only gained one point between the trio on their collective ventures to East London this season.
Liverpool stretched their advantage at the top of the Premier League to five points following a 1-1 home draw with Leicester City. In a game where the Reds would have hoped for maximum points, Harry Maguire’s equaliser for the Foxes silenced the Anfield faithful. The good news for Jurgen Klopp’s side was that title rivals, Manchester City lost ground following a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Tuesday evening, but the title race is definitely on now, and Liverpool must produce to maintain their advantage.
Due Date: 4 February, 2019
As you might expect, Liverpool are the favourites to claim the three points in this fixture, but perhaps the value in the game lies elsewhere. The best industry price at the time of writing on Klopp’s side is just 4/11 with William Hill and Black Type. Liverpool are in obviously good form considering the Reds have dropped just nine points all season, but those odds look quite prohibitive.
The Draw can be backed at a tempting price of 9/2 with Unibet, while a home win for West Ham is available at the standout price of 15/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral. In my view, this game is no easy fixture for Liverpool, despite their fantastic League form, and the lack of results for the home team.
West Ham is one of those highly passionate supported clubs, who tend to perform better against bigger opposition – especially in front of their home supporters. Liverpool looked to have run out of ideas against Leicester late on Wednesday night, and it could – and I use the term very loosely – be a sign that the title pressure is already beginning to show.
On the balance of current form, the Reds should win the game comfortably, but the odds on the Draw at 9/2 is too big in my view, and this is my selection for this match.
Individual Goal Scorers
The Premier League’s leading scorer, Mohamed Salah is unsurprisingly the market favourite to score the first goal in this game. Salah has hit 16 league goals so far in this campaign, and is the generally available 3/1 chance to break the deadlock in this fixture.
Fellow Liverpool strike partners to Salah, in Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are both available at the top price of 11/2 with Betfred in what is a wide-open betting market.
Following recent January transfer speculation, West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic returned to the starting line-up in the Hammers’ 3-0 defeat at Molineux in midweek, and the Austrian striker could get back on the goal trail in this game for the 29-year-old. Arnautovic is as short as 6/1 with Betfred to score first, but the stand-out price of 10/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa should be considered as the leading chance of goals for West Ham.
Others to consider include, Liverpool talisman, Virgil van Dijk, who is highly dangerous from set-pieces and is worth a second look at a generally available 25/1. Promising midfield man Declan Rice got off the mark in the 1-0 home win over Arsenal last month, and the 20-year-old is a massive 66/1 shot with the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill. Rice should also be of consideration at 24/1 to score at any time with Unibet.
Other Side Bets
Liverpool has the Premier League’s best defence, by conceding just 14 goals from 24 games so far this season, so it may come as a small surprise to see that Both Teams to Score in this game is one of my selections. Liverpool are obviously one, if not the most potent side in an attacking sense in the Premier League, but I just have the suspicion that West Ham will pose problems for Klopp’s side and score in this game. The 8/9 on offer with 188Bet is yet another stand-out price from this firm and is a confident selection.
In keeping with our previous selections, the 11/2 on offer with Betfred for Both Teams to Score and the match to end in a draw is another bet worthy of consideration.
Finally, our Correct Score offering is for a 1-1 draw in this game as West Ham are capable of providing a difficult evening in East London for their high-flying opponents. SportingBet lead the way for this outcome at the stand-out price of 9/1.
- Both Teams to Score in this game at 8/9 with 188Bet
- Both Teams to Score and the Match to end in a Draw at 11/2 with Betfred
- West Ham United 1-1 Liverpool Correct Score bet at 9/1 with SportingBet