After Luis Suárez and Liverpool thrashed Norwich 5-1 last week, you have to think West Ham are a bit apprehensive about their trip to Anfield today (10 a.m. ET; watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
Last weekend’s immense win, with four goals from Suárez and one from Raheem Sterling, put Liverpool back on track after a 3-1 loss to Hull City their last time out. But with Manchester City playing away this weekend, Brendan Rodgers knows it’s time to take advantage of the opportunity to move up into third place. The manager, wisely, will stick with the same lineup that won midweek, save for Mamadou Sakho for Daniel Aggar, who’s out with illness.
West Ham, on the other hand, aren’t faring so well. They Irons may have managed to score three against Tottenham and three against Fulham, but they’ve also gone goalless in 8 of their 14 matches. Despite the lack of goals, Sam Allardyce won’t be rushing Andy Carroll back into service, although the striker did return to training last week. But, with Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga at his disposal, Allardyce at least won’t be returning to the strikerless formation that’s featured most of the season. Between the two, they’ve scored one goal, but it’s goalless Maiga that gets the start against Liverpool Oh, and West Ham’s top scorer, midfielder Ravel Morrison, will sit out a one match ban.
So will this one be another Liverpool thrashing or a dull scoreless draw?
Liverpool : Mignolet, Flanagan, Sakho, Skrtel, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suárez
Subs: Jones, Cissokho, Toure, Lucas, Moses, Alberto, Aspas
West Ham United : Jaaskelainen, Demel, McCartney, Collins, Tomkins, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Downing, Jarvis, Maiga
Subs: Adrian, O’Brien, Collison, Diarra, C.Cole, J.Cole, Taylor