COMMENT By Danny Wright
Liverpool will travel to West Ham on Sunday in a bid to make strong gains in their quest to gain qualification to next season’s Champions League.
A win at the London Stadium will leave the Reds just one game away from securing a top four spot on their own terms and here, Football Insider takes a look at three things we can expect from Jurgen Klopp’s side.
27-year-old to score
Roberto Firmino is a doubt for the Hammers clash so that could mean that Daniel Sturridge might return to the starting line-up. If that’s the case, it can be fair to expect the 27-year-old to find the net against Slaven Bilic’s side after scoring in his last league start back in February. Sturridge’s season has been hampered by injury and he can make massive strides towards playing at the level he was once at if he can prove to Klopp why he deserves a spot over players like Divock Origi. It won’t be an easy task but the 25-times England international has great character which will help him re-ignite his goal scoring form.
Another Simon Mignolet clean sheet
West Ham haven’t been the most prolific goal scorers in the Premier League this season. They have just four goals in their last six league matches and have fewer goals than teams like Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. Bilic’s most threatening goal scorers, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Michail Antonio, are all out of the game meaning that Mignolet can be expected to keep a third clean sheet in a row. The Belgian ‘keeper has hit a purple patch of form in the last few months but he is likely to have a very quiet afternoon against the goal-shy Irons.
Three points and top-four all but in the bag
Liverpool have a very patch record against West Ham in recent seasons, having won just once in the last seven meetings between the two in all competitions. However the Reds can be fully expected to end that hoodoo and make a huge stride towards qualifying for the Champions League. Two wins in their last two games would mean that Klopp’s men can finish in the top four on their own terms, but defeats for Manchester United or Arsenal in their matches this weekend could also seal Liverpool’s return to Europe’s most prestigious competition. West Ham haven’t been the best team playing in front of their own fans this term, and that could play into Liverpool’s hands.
In other Liverpool news, Klopp has shared his transfer dilemma for the summer.