West Ham v Liverpool: Reds can record a convincing win
Liverpool play their game in hand in midweek and Mike Norman believes it will be a stroll in the park for the Reds when they travel to the London Stadium...
West Ham v Liverpool
Stuttering start for new Hammers boss
There were more than a few eyebrows raised when David Moyes declared, "That's what I do, I win", on his return to the West Han hot seat just before the New Year given his record since being sacked - for not winning enough games - by Manchester United.
At the time of that surprising announcement Moyes had won just 29 of his previous 116 games in charge of Sunderland, Real Sociedad and the Hammers. That's a win rate of just 25%. Not exactly a win rate to shout home about.
Moyes immediately made his doubters stand up and take notice with a fantastic 4-0 win over Bournemouth on New Year' Day, but it's important to remember that the Cherries had a huge injury list and were completely out of form at that time. A vital three points, yes, but a turn-the-corner victory for West Ham under their new 'old' manager? Apparently not.
The Hammers have now gone four games without a win and on Saturday an almost full-strength team were defeated 0-1 at home to Championship outfit West Brom in the FA Cup, the Baggies having to play the last 20 minutes with just 10 men.
West Ham remain in huge relegation trouble, sitting outside of the drop zone only on goal difference, and Moyes has a mounting injury list that includes Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Robert Snodgrass, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson among others.
Rampant Reds just keep on winning
I'm probably not the only one who believes that what Liverpool are doing is quite incredible. They might not be winning three or four nil every week but the run they are on is astonishing.
For the record it's 14 straight Premier League wins for the Reds, they've won 31 of their last 32 league games played, and they're unbeaten in 40 top flight matches. During this run they've become European champions, World Club Cup champions, and won the Super Cup.
Jurgen Klopp made 11 changes to his regular starting XI for the FA Cup tie at Shrewsbury on Sunday - so we can't read too much into the Reds letting slip a 2-0 lead and drawing 2-2 - but is likely to revert back to his full strength line-up for the trip to the London Stadium, though Sadio Mane is a slight injury doubt.
A win will extend Liverpool's lead at the top of the table to a record-equaling 19-points margin; only Manchester City have ever led a Premier League table by 19 points, that coming after the 37th game of the 2017/18 season.
Visitors a confident bet on the handicap
Liverpool can be backed at around the 1.36 mark to win this game (West Ham 11.00, the Draw 6.00) and I hate to say it but that's actually a price worth backing. Here's why:
On the first weekend of the season Manchester City were just 1.27 to win away at West Ham. At that time everyone was of the opinion that the Hammers would have a decent campaign and that the Citizens were almost invincible. Right now West Ham are far worse than we all expected them to be and Liverpool are statistically much better than Man City.
So why then are Liverpool 1.36 compared to City's price of 1.27? It makes no sense to me.
I honestly think that a full strength Liverpool team will wipe the floor with this Hammers side and that backing the Reds on the -1 handicap at 2.04 is the way to play.
Leicester put four (and won by three) past Moyes' side just last week and Arsenal - who rarely win away from home - put three past the Hammers last month. Given the injury list West Ham currently have and the huge gulf in class between the two sides I fully expect Liverpool to win by at least two goals.
Take a chance on Reds scoring at least four
Over 2.5 Goals is available to back at just 1.62 here and that's a price I'm struggling to get excited about, even though I think the bet will land.
Liverpool have started keeping clean sheets again and recorded seven shut-outs on the spin in the Premier League prior to their 2-1 win at Wolves last week. Of those seven games just two witnessed at least three goals.
Having said that this is a game I really fancy Liverpool to win comfortably and I won't be surprised at all if Klopp's men put on a really good performance. The Any Other Away Win (Liverpool to win and score at least four goals) can be backed at 4.80 and I believe that price is definitely worth a second look.
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