Liverpool vs West Ham by Isaiah
Liverpool continued with their highly unreliable performances, coming from exclusion in League Cup game away to Chelsea. After a 1:1 draw at home in the first game, they had a decent chance to progress further and get a positive result, which they generally did after second ninety minutes, but failed to respond in extra-time suffering a narrow 1:0 defeat due the only goal scored from Ivanovic in 94th minute.
Prior to that game, they had a goalless draw at home against Bolton last weekend, with the team having quite poor and uncreative performance against a level lower ranked side. This means that the team is without a goal scored in last two matches, but at least, coming from two straight victories in Premier League. They do have many draws, but are also on undefeated run in Premier League for six matches. They have also climbed up to eight position, being just four points away from sixth placed Arsenal and in case of a victory here, they could go really close to Champions League tickets this time. Mamadou Sakho limped off with a back injury against Chelsea, but should be fit for this match. Important Steven Gerrard is set to start at bench here, as he played all 120 minutes against the Blues. Central defender Kolo Toure (13/0) is still at African Cup of Nations, while injured remain quite unimportant full back Jon Flanagan (no performance yet in the season) and goalkeeper Bradley Jones (3/0).
West Ham, on the other side, comes from a narrow 1:0 victory on the road against Bristol City in FA Cup last Sunday, thanks to goal from Sakho in 81st minute. Even though it was a late minutes goal, the visiting side deserved their victory being much more concrete side during the game, while the pressure they made in last quarter was good enough for the final victory.
Prior to that game, West Ham took an easy 3:0 victory at home against Hull City two weeks before, ending a run of four matches with no victory in Premier League. Even so, they keep very high seventh position, being only three points away from Arsenal on sixth position and only four points away from Champions League placed Manchester United. Visitors have defenders James Collins, James Tomkins, Carl Jenkinson and Joey O'Brien all set as doubtful here, but most of them should get the fitness right on time for the match. Central midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate (19/1) is at African Cup of Nations.
Liverpool has to be set as favorite here, but with the way they play and have probelms scoring, they should be nowhere close to such a strong favorites. West Ham looks quite confident at the moment and it won't be much of the surprise in case the team walks away with all three points today.