Predicted Liverpool XI vs West Ham as Jurgen Klopp prepares without star player
Liverpool will host West Ham United on Wednesday with a chance to keep their momentum going and close the gap on the Premier League leaders.
When Liverpool faces West Ham United on Wednesday, they’ll be eager to build on their weekend victory over Manchester City, but they won’t be at full strength.
On Saturday, Jurgen Klopp’s team defeated the reigning champions at Anfield with a goal from Mohamed Salah, closing the gap on Pep Guardiola’s side to only 10 points. Another three points for the Reds can help them narrow the gap even more because City and the league leaders Arsenal are not in action this week.
The Reds will have to do it without Diogo Jota, though, after the forward added his name to the injury list. The Portugal international left the field late on in the victory and will not return from injury until after the World Cup.
Liverpool haven’t lost at home to the Hammers in more than seven years, though, and are expected to still name a strong team – despite some injury concerns.
In Sunday’s victory, Alisson earned a rare assist by supplying Salah with a long kick downfield that led to the game-winning goal. The Brazilian is expected to have a formidable defence in front of him because he hasn’t missed a league game since January.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was left out of the starting XI on Sunday despite returning from injury but looks set to return in place of James Milner this time out. On the left side, Kostas Tsimikas could be in line to feature after a late appearance from the bench but Andy Robertson looks more likely to get the nod.
Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk should continue their partnership in the absence of injured Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip.
Jordan Henderson came off the bench for the final 17 minutes on Sunday, replacing Fabinho. The decision now concerns whether he will partner with the Brazilian or take his place, but it may well be the case that it’s Thiago who makes way for the club captain
With Jota out injured, Klopp is expected to switch to a 4-4-2. This would allow Harvey Elliott to move out to the right, with Fabio Carvalho potentially in line for a rare start on the left of the four.
With Jota and Diaz unavailable, there will be some pressure on Mohamed Salah to deliver. Last season’s top scorer has nine goals in all competitions this term, including four in the last two games, but failed to score in either game against West Ham last season.
The decision for Klopp concerns whether to partner the Egyptian with Darwin Nunez or Roberto Firmino. It was Firmino who got the nod on Sunday, with Nunez replacing him for the final 18 minutes, but it could be time for the Uruguayan after he scored in each of his last two starts.
Liverpool are currently six points outside the top four and a win on Wednesday will see them close down on the teams above.