Saturday 29/8/15, Anfield, 3pm
Odds: Liverpool 4/11, West Ham 13/2, The Draw 4/1
Referee: Kevin Friend
Last three meetings
Liverpool 2-0 West Ham
West Ham 3-1 Liverpool
West Ham 1-2 Liverpool
West Ham: LDLWLL
Liverpool: Jon Flanagan, Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge
West Ham: Enner Valencia, Andy Carroll, Mauro Zarate
Liverpool: Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana
West Ham: Joey O’Brien, Reece Oxford, Diafra Sakho
West Ham: Adrian, Carl Jenkinson
Win, Lose or Draw?
This one’s obvious right? Liverpool haven’t conceded a goal all season and West Ham have four first-team strikers injured and shipped out the other one, Modibo Maiga, who scored last week.
The Reds are unbeaten and third in the Premier League, whereas their visitors are fresh from home defeats to Leicester and Bournemouth in which they conceded six, have lost to Maltese (Birkirkara) and Romanian (Astra Giurgiu) opposition on the road this term and last won at Anfield in 1963.
Yet these sides are two of the best in the division at displaying distain for the formbook and its number-heavy teachings. How else do you explain West Ham winning at Arsenal weeks after being shown up by Maltese part-timers?
Liverpool meanwhile lost their second home league game in two of Brendan Rodgers’ first three campaigns in charge, with another claret-and-blue crew, Aston Villa, assisting the Merseysiders in their rage against the formbook at this juncture last season.
Of course, the most unpredictable thing that these capricious clubs could do is what is expected of them, and if they tread that path then the half-time/full-time Liverpool triumph has to be considered the worthiest outcome bet at an appealing 9/10.
Their east London-based opponents have indefensibly leaked twice before the break in three of their past four matches, with their backline being given a first-45-battering by the uncelebrated attacks of Astra, Leicester and Bournemouth.
Recommended bet: Liverpool to lead at half time and full time @ 9/10
Who’s going to score?
There is some good news for West Ham: none of the players who scored Liverpool’s last seven goals against them will be gracing the Anfield grass on Saturday. Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling (two apiece) have all moved on, while Sturridge remains in hibernation for the foreseeable.
Benchwarming centre back Mamadou Sakho was the last active squad member to net for them in this fixture and is 23/2 to fire at any time in what will be a Sakho derby if namesake Diafra is passed fit for the guests.
However, instead of picking out a specific swordsman, news.bwin are going to answer this question by forecasting that both teams will score.
Sure, West Ham had a solitary Martin Skrtel own goal to celebrate for their previous seven trips this side of Stanley Park – the situation is so grim that away fans resort to celebrating corners and throw-ins in lieu of actual shots – and they have enough attacking injuries to afford Charlie Austin a chortle.
They have been notching consistently in 2015/16 though as Slaven Bilic searches for the elusive “West Ham way”. Their last five encounters served up nine Irons goals despite inspiring just one victory. When even Maiga is splitting defences open at 2-4 and a man down, you know something strange is going on.
Recommended bet: Both teams to score @ EVENS
With a Liverpool win and both teams to score already on the menu, you have probably sussed that news.bwin is on Team Over 2.5 Goals for this one. Over 3.5 deserves some love too because the hosts have scored three or more on three of West Ham’s most recent five Anfield appearances.
Recommended bet: Over 3.5 goals @ 33/20
What else should I be backing?
With Bilic’s brutes now up to five red cards in their past eight games, it would be careless not to factor that into your punting portfolio, especially given that they lost a man on their penultimate outing at Anfield, when fan favourite (to jeer) Kevin Nolan was dismissed on 82 minutes.
Recommended bet: A West Ham player to be sent off @ 7/1