Friday 30 Oct
Updated Friday 30 Oct 15:08
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Liverpool v West Ham United - All you need to know

Liverpool v West Ham United - All you need to know

 

West Ham United continue their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a trip to Anfield to face reigning champions Liverpool on Saturday 31 October.

The Halloween fixture will kick-off at 5.30pm and be played without fans present due to COVID-19 restrictions, but will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports and across the world by the Premier League's international broadcast partners.

The Irons head to Merseyside seeking to extend their Premier League unbeaten run to five matches, having followed emphatic wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-0) and Leicester City (3-0) with an historic come-from-behind 3-3 draw at Tottenham Hotspur and 1-1 home draw with Manchester City at London Stadium last weekend.

Liverpool are also on a four-match unbeaten run in all competitions since their 7-2 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa on 4 October. The Reds have drawn at Everton and beat Sheffield United in the Premier League and defeated Ajax and Midtjylland in the UEFA Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp's side can go top of the table and equal their club record of 63 unbeaten home league matches should they avoid defeat by the Hammers - a feat last achieved at Anfield between February 1978 and December 1980.

West Ham have won just once in their last 47 visits to Anfield - a 3-0 success in September 2015.

 

Team news

David Moyes' only injury absentee is Michail Antonio, who was replaced during the second half of last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City with tightness in his hamstring.

Moyes, who named an unchanged starting XI for the City game, could hand debuts to new signings Saïd Benrahma and Craig Dawson.

Former Liverpool schoolboy Aaron Cresswell will hope to add to his team-leading three assists against his old club.

Liverpool have a number of injury concerns, with captain and centre-back Virgil van Dijk ruled out for the season with a serious knee ligament injury.

England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also out with a long-term knee injury, while centre-back Joel Matip remains a doubt and defensive midfielder Fabinho (hamstring) is out.

The media are speculating that 19-year-old Rhys Williams could start alongside Joe Gomez at the heart of the defence.

Goalkeeper Adrian is unlikely to face his old club after Alisson returned from injury last weekend.

 

The opposition - Liverpool

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring at Everton

 

Liverpool may be without their captain, talismanic centre-back and arguably best player in Virgil van Dijk, but the Reds are still a formidable force.

The Reds won the Premier League title last season with 99 points, winning 26 of their first 27 matches and all but one of their 19 home games at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's men also won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, but were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the Round of 16, the FA Cup in the fifth round and the Carabao Cup in the quarter-finals, albeit with a weakened team.

The German manager added reinforcements to his squad in the summer, signing Spain central midfielder Thiago from Bayern Munich, Portugal winger Diogo Jota and Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos, while allowing Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and youngsters Ki-Jana Hoever, Rhian Brewster and Ovie Ejaria to depart.

Liverpool's performances have been up and down so far this season, including a shock 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa and a penalty shootout exit from the Carabao Cup at the hands of Arsenal in early October, but back-to-back UEFA Champions League group-stage wins already have them in pole position to reach the Round of 17, and Premier League victories over Arsenal and Chelsea mean the Reds are second in the table going into the weekend.

 

They said

They have options. Some smart business in the last 18 months. All starting to click

Jurgen Klopp

We are in a good place, the players have confidence, the results make a big difference and I hope the players can go and show it this weekend.

David Moyes

We could have got more victories, but to get the number of points we’ve got is credit to the lads, the coaching staff and the gaffer.

Jarrod Bowen

 

Previous meetings

As has already been mentioned, Anfield has not been a happy hunting ground for West Ham United down the years.

The Hammers have beaten Liverpool on home turf just once in 24 attempts in the Premier League - that 3-0 win in September 2015 courtesy of goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho.

That was therefore West Ham's biggest Premier League win and actually the Irons' all-time Premier League victory at Anfield.

West Ham's all-time biggest win over Liverpool was a 7-0 Division One success at the Boleyn Ground in September 1930.

 

Match officials

Referee Kevin Friend

 

Referee: Kevin Friend 
Assistant Referees: Simon Beck and Edward Smart
Fourth Official: Craig Pawson
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis

Kevin Friend will referee West Ham United for the 20th time and the first time this season at Anfield.

The 49-year-old was born in Bristol and grew up in Leicestershire, where he began his refereeing career at the age of 14, starting out in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland Football Alliance before being promoted to the National List of Referees.

Friend was promoted to the Select Group in 2009 and refereed his first top-flight fixture between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham in September of that year.

Among the high-profile matches refereed by Friend were the 2012 Community Shield, 2013 League Cup final and 2019 FA Cup final.

His first West Ham appointment was a 5-0 Championship win over Plymouth Argyle at the Boleyn Ground in February 2005, while he was also in charge for the Irons' 3-0 win at Anfield in September 2015.

Friend's most-recent West Ham game was the 4-0 Premier League victory at Norwich City in July 2020.

 

125th anniversary Away kit