Rodgers hoping Reds avoid European hangover against Hammers
The last time West Ham beat Liverpool was in 2011. It was the Reds’ first game after a tricky win in Europe, and the Hammers recorded a 3-1 victory at Upton Park. On that occasion, striker Carlton Cole scored last, and he is 8/1 in the same market this time round.
Whether Brendan Rodgers is aware of that statistic or not, he will certainly be hoping for a better performance than the one he witnessed at Anfield, as Liverpool limped past Ludogorets. His side are odds-on favourites at 3/4, however Coral are also offering 5/2 for the Merseyside club to win and Mario Balotelli to score, after the Italian netted his first goal for the Reds in Europe.
With Daniel Sturridge still out injured, the former Inter Milan, Manchester City, and AC Milan forward is also 9/2 to open the scoring, after achieving the same feat against Ludogorets.
Sam Allardyce has named the same squad that drew at Hull last time out, with Matt Jarvis, Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, and Joey O’Brien all out injured. For Liverpool, Rodgers could welcome centre back Martin Skrtel back into the fold, after he recovered from a knee injury.
Raheem Sterling has arguably been Liverpool’s best player this term, scoring twice in the league, and is 9/2 to break the deadlock in east London, while skipper Steven Gerrard, also two in all competitions, including a winning penalty against Ludogorets is 2/1 to net anytime. The Reds captain has also previously bagged braces against West Ham, and is an 11/1 chance for two or more.
Left back Alberto Moreno has been impressive since his switch from Sevilla, and hit a stunner against Tottenham. The Spaniard is 9/1 to find the net again anytime.
Allardyce meanwhile, is keen to keep a clean sheet, an area of the Hammers’ game that was so impressive last season, however it is something they have failed to do so far this term in all competitions. Odds of 5/1 say the hosts can shut Liverpool out.
“We haven’t had a clean sheet, yet we had 14 last year…We’ve got to start doing our defensive job better.” the Hammers boss said. Coral have odds of 16/1 on the game being goalless.
At the other end, West Ham have been quite impressive by their standards, netting seven times in their last three Premier League games. Top scorer Diafra Sakho, currently has two goals to his name, and is 11/4 to beat Simon Mignolet anytime. Encouragingly for Allardyce, Enner Valencia and Mauro Zarate have also opened their league accounts, are both 7/1 to net the game’s first goal.