WEST HAM welcome Liverpool to the London Stadium on Super Sunday. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) takes a closer look at what's expected to be an entertaining encounter.
West Ham vs Liverpool | Sunday 7th November 2021, 16:30 | Sky Sports
West Ham have picked up from where they left off last season and sit fourth in the Premier League. But as I pointed out before they beat Spurs a couple of weekends ago – both defeats have come after a Europa League outing.
They were held to a 2-2 against Genk on Thursday, where they looked rather open. However, Said Benrahma had looked to have secured the points before Tomas Soucek’s own goal.
After Chelsea dropped points yesterday, Liverpool can close to within a point of top spot going into the international break. But they’ll be without Roberto Firmino for some time after his injury against Atletico Madrid.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last 20 league games (W14 D6) and have scored at least once in each of those games (50 in total), so the Hammers will have their work cut out trying to stop this Liverpool attack.
There was one stat I saw that swung this heavily in Liverpool’s favour but their price to win has shortened since I eyed that up.
The stat was that David Moyes has faced both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea 14 times in the Premier League since returning to West Ham, managing just one win, two draws and 11 defeats.
Given Liverpool’s recent scoring exploits I couldn’t put you off backing the Reds to win and over 1 goal in the game at 20/21 with Bet365 – that looks solid.
But I’m happy to roll the dice on something a little bigger and more player specific. Mohamed Salah has scored nine goals in eight league appearances against West Ham. So, that took me down a rabbit hole searching for an angle.
The Egyptian has scored in each of Liverpool’s first five away Premier League games this season, which sees him sit in first place of the top-flight’s scoring charts.
Salah’s visits to the London Stadium have seen him score 2, 0, 1 & 2, so he’s got two braces in four appearances here. One of those in Liverpool’s 3-1 win here in January, so the way he’s lit up many a game already this season makes me want to have a little play on him to score 2+ goals at 4/1 with Sky Bet.
One other player that has shone for their side is Declan Rice. I’ve combined two stats-based plays to find a 9/4 shot with Ladbrokes I’m happy to have a small chunk on as well.
I did note he’s been carded in his last three v Liverpool, but he’s been completing a few tackles of late and will have to be on his mettle here.
This season, he’s made 2+ tackles on nine occasions in all comps. Since the Leeds game at the end of September, he’s completed 2, 3, 4, 0, 3, 8, 4 & 3. That’s the first part of the bet.
The second is for him to have a shot from outside the box. The midfielder has hit seven shots in the Premier League this season, six from outside the box.
He had two from outside the box against Aston Villa last weekend, one against Everton, plus one blocked v both Leeds and Southampton, so it’s an area he’s seemingly added to his game. The shot outside the box alone for Rice is 7/5 with Ladbrokes.
I did spot how last weekend saw Brighton’s central midfielders rack up the tackles and shots. Holding midfielder Enock Mwepu scored from outside the box and made four of eight attempted tackles, while Adam Lallana made five from six against his former club. The other Seagulls central midfielder Yves Bissouma also recorded a shot on target from outside the box.
So, there’s form for Rice in recent weeks and just last week, Liverpool struggled to contain Brighton, so if Moyes re-watched that, he may have found a few areas to exploit. It’s 9/4 for Rice to have a shot from outside the box and 2+ tackles, which is something I can see him achieving.
Those are the two bets for me. I was eyeing up West Ham most booking points, but just five cautions at home in five games detracts from that somewhat. Although, Liverpool have only had three cards on the road in the league, picking up 10, 10, 10, 0 & 0 booking points.
The Hammers have landed the most booking points in seven of their last eight against Liverpool, which was mainly the reason I had it in my notes. But this season’s yellow card tallies suggest a potentially quiet afternoon for Craig Pawson – West Ham have 12 with Liverpool one fewer.