West Ham vs Liverpool preview: Hammers can beat Premier League leaders, insists Manuel Pellegrini
West Ham host Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm on Monday
Last Updated: 04/02/19 7:10pm
Manuel Pellegrini is adamant West Ham can beat Premier League leaders Liverpool when the two sides play each other at the London Stadium on Monday Night Football.
West Ham head into the fixture on the back of recent defeats at Bournemouth and Wolves in the Premier League, and an FA Cup humiliation at AFC Wimbledon.
Pellegrini, however, is backing his players to turn in an improved display on Monday.
"Of course we can beat Liverpool on Monday because every team can win every match in the Premier League," Pellegrini said. "I don't know if they are nervous because I was not there in midweek. It will depend on their performance rather than the nerves.
"We want to beat Liverpool. We cannot play on nerves because they have top players who can change the game at any time.
"We need to play at a high pace like we did at home to Arsenal and Manchester United and other clubs."
Liverpool will be looking to reestablish their five-point lead at the top of the table after Manchester City cut the gap to two points with victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is not fully recovered from a knee injury and will not travel to London and fellow defender Joe Gomez is further behind in his rehabilitation from a fractured leg than first expected.
Asked whether Gomez would be fit for the Champions League last-16 tie at home to Bayern Munich on February 19, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "No, I don't think it would be a realistic target for Bayern. After that, any time, you will see."
Marko Arnautovic could be fit to face Liverpool despite fears he had suffered a broken foot in midweek. Lukasz Fabianski (arm) and Aaron Cresswell (hamstring) also hope to be available, but Samir Nasri is still missing with a minor calf problem.
However, Jack Wilshere, Fabian Balbuena, Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid and Carlos Sanchez are long-term absentees.
As for the visitors, Liverpool midfielder James Milner returns from suspension and is likely to be asked to fill in at right-back as Alexander-Arnold continues his recovery from a knee problem.
- West Ham have lost their last four Premier League matches against Liverpool, conceding exactly four times in each defeat (0-4, 1-4, 1-4, 0-4)
- Liverpool have won both of their Premier League matches at the London Stadium against West Ham - they haven't won three consecutive away league games against the Hammers since January 2007
- Liverpool have scored four times in each of their last four Premier League games against West Ham; in top-flight history, only twice has a team scored four or more goals in five consecutive matches against an opponent - Sunderland vs Manchester United (five between 1893 and 1906) and Arsenal vs Middlesbrough (seven between 1930 and 1933)
- In their 0-3 defeat at Wolves, West Ham failed to register a shot on target in a Premier League match for the first time since December 2017 against Arsenal; it was also the first time a side managed by Manuel Pellegrini had failed to attempt an effort on target in a Premier League game
- Liverpool have kept six clean sheets away from home in the Premier League this season, one more than they did in the whole of 2017-18. They last kept more on the road in the 2014-15 campaign (8)
- All seven of the Premier League goals conceded by West Ham in 2019 have been scored in the second half of matches
- West Ham are looking to win three consecutive matches in all competitions at the London Stadium for the first time in what will be their 61st match at the stadium
Liverpool did not handle the pressure well (at home to Leicester on Wednesday). They started with a goal in three minutes, but after that they were lethargic with the pass, Salah was denied a lot of space and I think West Ham will look at it and say, 'we will get in your face and get about you'.
It also looks like Arnautovic may be struggling to be fit, despite what West Ham say, but they have Hernandez - if they keep him - and Anderson, who can be a real handle and when he does it well, he does it really, really well. So, they will be dangerous and a real test for them and if they play it more like a counterattacking game, it will suit them and Liverpool will be a bit agitated.
If I am Pellegrini, then I'm playing this as an away match and let Liverpool have possession. But I just feel this game will suit Liverpool going to the London Stadium and they will nick it, but there could be late drama with Origi coming off the bench to win it.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-2 (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)