West Ham United v Liverpool
Saturday, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 1

Tough times for Bilić

2-0 up at half-time, West Ham looked on course to record a much-needed win against Crystal Palace last week. Even as the Eagles mounted a siege on their goal, buoyed by Luka Milivojević's response just after the interval, the Irons held firm, Joe Hart preserving their advantage. Then, deep into injury time, Michail Antonio opted to cut inside towards goal instead of taking the goal into the corner, allowing Palace one more attack. One swoosh of Wilfried Zaha's boot later, the ball was in the back of the net.

It was a sickening way to let two points slip away, and not the first time that West Ham have been denied late on in away games this season: Southampton and Burnley both caught them with last-gasp haymakers. Just three days after the morale boost of a League Cup win over Tottenham, Slaven Bilić and his charges were back feeling sorry for themselves, hovering just a point above the relegation zone.

Now, for the visit of Liverpool, Bilić has to reshuffle his pack. Antonio is out with a minor knock and no fewer than four defenders will be missing: Pablo Zabaleta is suspended, with Sam Byram, José Fonte and James Collins injured. That means a midfield player will likely have to stand in at right-back - hardly ideal given the attacking potency of their opponents this weekend.

Injuries stacking up for Liverpool

They didn't reach seventh heaven this time, but Liverpool had little trouble brushing Maribor aside in the Champions League in midweek. With Mo Salah, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge on the scoresheet, the Reds recorded a 3-0 win over the Slovenians at Anfield, maintaining their place at the summit of Group E with two rounds to go.

It's now four clean sheets in five for Jürgen Klopp's charges, although the odd one out - that shellacking at the hands of Spurs - continues to cast a shadow. Wins over Maribor are all well and good, but they probably need a big performance in a big game to set the record straight. The Chelsea match later this month could be that chance.

Until then, it's just a matter of building momentum, which would be easier if Liverpool's injury list wasn't lengthening at such an alarming rate. Georginio Wijnaldum is the latest name on it, joining Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne. At least Sadio Mané is back in full training, although chances are he won't be risked in east London.

Reds favourites for three points

West Ham have been something of a bogey team for Liverpool recently, winning three of the last six meetings between the sides. But Klopp's charges recorded a 4-0 victory on their first trip to the Olympic Stadium in May, meaning this trip is unlikely to hold any great fear for them.

The Irons have been wildly inconsistent in their new home and tend to struggle against the top sides: their record against the big six (Arsenal, Man United, Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool) at this ground is W1 D0 L6, with 20 goals conceded. Liverpool have been shaky on their travels this term, but it's no surprise that they're 1.68 favourites here.

Liverpool can be relied upon for goals

That is probably slightly on the short side for us, but we can supplement it with a goal angle. 11 of Liverpool's 17 games so far this season, including four of five away in the Premier League, have gone over 2.5 goals. Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals is the play at 13/10, with over 3.5 goals also worth a look at 2.66.

Sturridge deadly against West Ham

Daniel Sturridge has scored five goals in seven Premier League appearances against West Ham, including the opening goal at this stadium last season. The England man should start, having scored in his last two appearances, and is priced fairly at 2.18.

Recommended Bets

Back Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals at 13/10
Back over 3.5 goals at 2.66

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