Liverpool vs West Ham: Match preview and team predictions

By on April 19, 2010

AnfieldKop

By Guest Writer Greg Cohen.

As any neutral fan will agree, the tumultuous plight of Liverpool battling for fourth spot has been entertaining to say the least. The subsequent brawl for the last Champions League place, however, has been yet more intriguing. Unfortunately though, this footballing equivalent of watching several greased-up, half-naked ladies clamber up a steep hill is reaching the pinnacle now and Liverpool appear to be the slightly plump and unattractive option sliding off uncontrollably towards the bottom.

Without Torres, who is out for the rest of the season following surgery on his knee on Sunday, Liverpool need to win each of their final four games: a daunting prospect and a prospect, not entirely aided by today’s visit from West Ham.

A month ago, Liverpool would have welcomed West Ham to the Kop with open arms, but having battled to a well-earned draw away to Everton before tackling Sunderland 1-0, the Hammers look rejuvenated under the pressure of relegation.

Even with talismanic midfielder Scott Parker still out finishing his two match ban, I wouldn’t put it past them to break their notoriously bad run of not having won at Anfield since 1963 and take something from the game.

Senior Benitez will, of course, be looking forward to Thursday night’s crucial game against Atletico Madrid and could be forgiven for perhaps resting some of the more prominent players. Whoever they are though, Rafa will only know. That, however, does not mean that the gravity of this match should be underestimated. With Liverpool chasing the European spot that could ensure the future commitments of their most esteemed players and West Ham scrapping for the vital points to avoid the drop, this game has the potential to be a  well fought battle.

For Liverpool, defensive problems look to be characteristically rife. With Aurelio, Insua and Skrtel all still missing, Daniel Agger is set to continue out of position at left back. Ngog, who even Portsmouth would think twice about putting on the bench, will more than likely start upfront with the only support coming from midfield.

West Ham will carry on without long-term injury problems Dyer and Boa Morte, despite the latter having played 45 minutes for the reserves earlier in the week. Hines and Tomkins are also still out with knee and ankle problems respectively. Cole, their top scorer will vitally start again.

Predicted Line-ups:

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Agger, Aquilani, Mascherano, Benayoun, Gerrard, Babel, Ngog.

West Ham: Green, Faubert, Da Costa, Upson, Spector, Stanislas, Kovac, Behrami, Noble, Cole, Ilan.

Predicted final score: 1-1

Match Preview – Liverpool vs. West Ham

Greg Cohen

As any neutral fan will agree, the tumultuous plight of Liverpool battling for fourth spot has been entertaining to say the least. The subsequent brawl for the last Champions League place, however, has been yet more intriguing. Unfortunately though, this footballing equivalent of watching several greased-up, half-naked ladies clamber up a steep hill is reaching the pinnacle now and Liverpool appear to be the slightly plump and unattractive option sliding off uncontrollably towards the bottom. Without Torres, who is out for the rest of the season following surgery on his knee on Sunday, they need to win each one of their final four games: a daunting prospect and a prospect, not entirely aided by today’s visit from West Ham.

A month ago, Liverpool would have welcomed West Ham to the Kop with open arms, but after having battled to a well-earned draw away to Everton before tackling Sunderland 1-0, the Hammers look rejuvenated under the pressure of relegation. Even with talismanic midfielder Scott Parker still out finishing his two match ban, I wouldn’t put it past them to break their notoriously bad run of not having won at Anfield since 1963 and take something from the game.

Senior Benitez will, of course, be looking forward to Thursday night’s crucial game against Atletico Madrid and could be forgiven for perhaps resting some of the more prominent players. Whoever they are though, Rafa will only know. That, however, does not mean that the gravity of this match should be underestimated. With Liverpool chasing the European spot that could ensure the future commitments of their most esteemed players and West Ham scrapping for the vital points to avoid the drop, this game has the potential to be a well fought battle.

For Liverpool, defensive problems look to be characteristically rife. With Aurelio, Insua and Skrtel all still missing, Daniel Agger is set to continue out of position at left back. Ngog, who even Portsmouth would think twice about putting on the bench, will more than likely start upfront with the only support coming from midfield.

West Ham will carry on without long-term injury problems Dyer and Boa Morte, despite the latter having played 45 minutes for the reserves earlier in the week. Hines and Tomkins are also still out with knee and ankle problems respectively. Cole, their top scorer will vitally start again.

Predicted Line-ups:

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Agger, Aquilani, Mascherano, Benayoun, Gerrard, Babel, Ngog.

West Ham: Green, Faubert, Da Costa, Upson, Spector, Stanislas, Kovac, Behrami, Noble, Cole, Ilan.

Predicted final score: 1-1

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