Following the collapse last weekend at Bournemouth, Jurgen Klopp’s team will be looking to bounce back from a horrendous seventeen minutes that saw us squander a 3-1 lead, losing 4-3 to Eddie Howe’s free flowing Bournemouth side. It left us stunned and lamenting our frustrations on social media, with keeper Loris Karius in particular coming in for some criticism, not making saves that we all felt he could of and perhaps should of made. Although, the blame wasn’t to land entirely as his doorstep, with some key errors at vital moments in our defensive third in the closing stages of the game by experience center back Dejan Lovren (who to be fair has vastly improved over the last 12 months) that suggests the blame falls with more than one player, and some experts have even questioned the decision by Jurgen Klopp to not introduce Ragnar Klavan when Ryan Fraser made it 3-2 to provide some cover for Lucas, who along with Lovren, was getting pulled apart a little to easily. When Nathan Ake’ tapped in the winner from close range following Loris Karius not holding the initial attempt on goal you started to get those similar feelings all over again, and although we all knew a game like that was coming, at 3-1 up, we didn’t think it would have been today.
Luckily for us though, the captain of our ship is as smart as he is eccentric on the touch line and within 24 hours the squad were off to Barcelona on a team building exercise that coincided with a champions league game at Camp Nou, a exercise that would no doubt proved to be useful for players still in a daze as to how they let it slip, when they appeared to be coasting to another three points, against a Bournemouth team, that had never beaten Liverpool.
Our focus now switches to a West Ham team that is in total disarray following a poor start to the season that see’s them in the relegation zone, and after being completely out played in a 5-1 home defeat to North London rivals, Arsenal. Perhaps, now would be the perfect time for Jurgen Klopp’s, Liverpool side to get one over on the Hammers, a team we played four times last season losing three and drawing one, which included a 4th round F.A. Cup exit and our last victory against The Hammers was at the beginning of 2015.
West Ham, are a team in trouble, they’ve conceded 29 goals in the league so far, and their manager, Slaven Bilic, is a man under pressure, and one who could become the second premiership manager this season to be axed if result don’t improve, and they will be looking to bounce back from last weeks humiliation. Considering where they are in the table, coupled with the fact they up against the leagues top scorers (Liverpool were the team that had scored the most goals at the beginning of match day 15) at Anfield, you can expect to see a familiar sight at home tomorrow, a team keeping it very tight and compact at the back, with as much as up seven or eight players behind the ball and not wanting to conceded an early goal or give us any space in front of the 18 yard box, because we’ve proved this season, once we break a team down and force them to be more adventuress in getting forward with the ball, we can really exploit the gaps that open up beyond the midfield and in front of the opposition’ defense.
Two respected Liverpool journalists have suggested Klopp goes with a 4-4-2 diamond against The Hammers, but I will be very surprised if we see anything other than a front three, with Wijnaldum and Can just behind them, and Jordan Henderson in the deeper role he’s played all season. What I am interested to see is our bench and whether or not youngster’s Oviemuno Ejaria and Ben Woodburn, despite the later playing 90 minutes for the U23’s in their 1-1 draw with West Brom make an appearance. Regardless of what happened in the last seventeen minutes against Bournemouth, we all will be glued to our television screens at 10:30 cheering on the men in Red, expecting to see exciting, relentless attacking football and sending The Hammers back to the East End with added misery.