West Ham v Liverpool: How Hammers can stop Salah, Firmino and Sturridge from profiting at London Stadium
Here are the key stats you need to know ahead of the game.
There hasn't been a draw between West Ham and Liverpool in the Premier League since December 2001
Liverpool boast a W8 L4 record against West Ham in the top flight since they last drew a meeting almost 16 years ago. That 1-1 draw in December 2001 saw Paolo Di Canio’s penalty cancel out a Steven Gerrard opener at Upton Park. On Saturday draw-masters Liverpool head to the London Stadium seeking all three points to reignite their title hopes. Liverpool have drawn four matches already this season – the joint-most alongside Burnley, Southampton and West Brom. The Hammers, meanwhile, have drawn three games, which have all come in their last five outings.
West Ham have conceded 10 goals from their last eight Premier League home games, despite keeping five clean sheets over that period as well
West Ham have conceded at home in just two games this season, but on both occasions they let in three goals. At the end of the last term Liverpool arrived in east London and put four past the Hammers. Defensive nous, especially at home, is crucial when 60,000 supporters are urging your team forward. But when games open up West Ham are susceptible to collapsing at the back. Of Joe Hart’s 27 saves this season, only seven have come at home. He was hardly needed in wins over Huddersfield Town and Swansea, but could do nothing as West Ham were rocked by Tottenham and Brighton. Saturday’s result could depend on which mood West Ham are in. Keep it tight and they could pinch it. But an open match against Liverpool risks a heavy defeat.
Liverpool have scored 14 goals in their last four games, winning 3-0 in their last two outings
The free-scoring Liverpool of last season has taken time to come to fruition this term, as problems at the back dog the Reds. But Jurgen Klopp’s side have proven clinical in front of goal of late. Granted, of the 14 goals they have scored in their last four games, 10 have come against Maribor. But nothing breeds confidence more than wins and goals, and Liverpool head into Saturday’s clash with West Ham on a two-game winning streak. Fans may scoff at that, but Liverpool haven’t put back-to-back wins together since August. Three successive clean sheets is a feat not seen since the end of last season (four in succession). Another convincing win this weekend would be welcome indeed.
All 41 of Javier Hernandez’s Premier League goals have come from inside the box – only Tim Cahill (56/56) has a higher 100 per cent record
Javier Hernandez has endured a mixed start to life at West Ham. The former Manchester United striker arrived in the summer after a career rejuvenation at Bayer Leverkusen. In stature, he is quite the opposite to the hulking Andy Carroll up front and manager Slaven Bilic hasn’t really been able to settle on one way of playing, especially with Carroll flitting in and out the side. Hernandez scored in the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace last weekend – his fourth of the campaign and only the third game in which he has found the net. He has not been as prolific as Bilic would have liked, and is averaging just 1.7 shots per game. Then again, only Carroll (3.6) and Michail Antonio (1.9) are averaging more, so Hernandez isn’t exactly falling behind his peers.
Mohamed Salah scored his 10th Liverpool goal of the season on Wednesday night and has contributed to 29 per cent of the Reds’ Premier League goals (5/17)
Mohamed Salah is proving his worth as Liverpool’s most expensive ever signing. Only four players (Jamie Vardy, Alvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane) have scored a greater percentage of their respective team’s goals in the Premier League so far. Salah has scored a third of Liverpool’s top-flight tally and is doing the business in Europe as well. While Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane suffer injury crises – and Roberto Firmino continues his dip in form – Salah has, at times, held up the Liverpool attack. Klopp’s attacking unit needs space to exploit and they should get it against a West Ham side that will be urged forward by the home crowd. This game is ripe for Salah, Firmino and Daniel Sturridge to profit.