West Ham United v Liverpool - All You Need To Know
West Ham United return to Premier League action on Sunday, when we host Liverpool at London Stadium.
The Hammers head south seeking a seventh straight win in all competitions for the first time since November 1985, and a fifth Premier League victory in a row for the first time since doing so in January/February 2006.
The Irons are unbeaten in eight in all competitions, having taken 14 points from a possible 18 in the Premier League and overcome National League outfit Stockport County and EFL League One side Doncaster Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup.
Three points against the champions would lift David Moyes' squad back into the top four, above their opponents.
With England now back under a national lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, this means the game will be played without supporters present. However, the match will be shown live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HD, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.
West Ham United manager David Moyes has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunday's game.
Injury-wise, Darren Randolph has missed the last two games with a knock picked up in training, while Arthur Masuaku remains sidelined as he continues his rehab following knee surgery.
Liverpool will be without centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, but Fabinho could return after missing the midweek win over Tottenham Hotspur as a precaution.
Midfielder Naby Keita and winger Diogo Jota are both likely to miss out as they continue their respective recoveries from injury.
The opposition – Liverpool
Liverpool's 3-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday marked the end of their worst run of Premier League form since February 2017.
Prior to their midweek trip to north London, Jürgen Klopp’s team had failed to win in four top-flight matches and, even more surprisingly, failed to score in any of them.
To put Liverpool’s form – pre-Spurs – into context, Liverpool had not gone more than two Premier League games without a win in any of their previous 96 matches dating back to May 2018.
The week before last, Liverpool’s 68-match, 1,369-day unbeaten run at Anfield in the Premier League was ended by Burnley, as the Reds were blanked for the fourth top-flight game in a row for the first time in over 20 years.
After an all-conquering period that saw them crowned champions of Europe, the world and England in the space of 13 months, Liverpool’s grip on the Premier League title appears to be loosening.
That Burnley defeat left Klopp’s side six points behind Manchester United – who also knocked them out of the Emirates FA Cup last Sunday – and four behind both Manchester City and Leicester City ahead of their visit to north London, where they faced a Tottenham team themselves only a point behind them in fifth place.
With Everton and West Ham United just a further point adrift, Liverpool are in the pack, rather than streaking away from it, as they were at the same stage of last season.
To put the visitors’ position into context, halfway through the 2019/20 campaign, the Merseysiders had won 18 out of 19 matches, drawing the other, and were 13 points clear at the top of the table with 55. This time around, they were 21 points worse off.
But, with 54 points still to play for, neither Klopp nor his players will give up hope of retaining the title they won in such sensational style last June.
How will they play?
Liverpool’s success over the past couple of years has been based on a rock-solid defence, marauding full-backs, a midfield that can control games and a front three that was nigh-on unstoppable.
For a combination of reasons, that approach has not worked quite so well in 2020/21. Injuries to goalkeeper Alisson and centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have not helped, while full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson and the front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané have not quite hit the same heights as they did in 2019 and 2020 so far this season, at least.
West Ham United meet Liverpool in the Premier League for the 50th time this afternoon – the first such fixture to reach its half century since the inception of this competition in 1993/94.
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the Reds have had much the better of the previous 49 top-flight meetings.
Liverpool have won 30 of the 49 to West Ham’s nine victories, with ten draws. The visitors have also scored more than twice as many goals as their hosts, 93 to 44, and kept more than twice as many clean sheets, 21 to ten.
West Ham do lead in yellow and red cards, though, being shown 84 yellows and four reds to Liverpool’s 48 and two respectively!
Liverpool have not lost any of the last nine Premier League meetings between the two clubs dating back to a 2-0 West Ham win at the Boleyn Ground in January 2016, when Michail Antonio opened the scoring.
The Irons’ best Premier League results against the Reds were the 3-0 wins achieved at the Boleyn Ground in May 1995 and at Anfield in August 2015, with Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble netting in the latter.
Liverpool’s biggest Premier League win over West Ham was a 5-0 win at Anfield in May 1998.
Overall, the Hammers’s biggest victory over the Reds was a 7-0 Division One success in September 1930 that took the Londoners top of the table.
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans
West Ham United will be highlighting the work of one of our Official Charities - Blesma, The Limbless Veterans - at Sunday's game.
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is one of only around ten charities that still exist of the 18,000 that were born out of the First World War. Their mission is to assist limbless and injured veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives, by providing their members both young and old with the latest advice on prosthetics and benefits; as well as practical, emotional and financial support. The Club are dedicating this fixture to raising awareness of their services and fundraising campaign.
Just as they are still caring for our World War II veterans, they are also looking after younger generations injured in recent conflicts who have survived complex trauma injury and will require Blesma’s specialised support as they face the long journey ahead. Providing this vital support to their members is where your contribution can really make a difference.
If you want to help support their limbless and injured veterans, visit blesma.org/support or text WHFC to 70085 to donate £3 today.
By the numbers
0 West Ham United are the only Premier League side not to be awarded a penalty so far this season, in any competition. The full list of Premier League penalties awarded in 2020/21 is as follows:
|Brighton & Hove Albion||6||5|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||2|
14 To nobody’s surprise, West Ham United’s leading scorer in fixtures against Liverpool is also the Club’s all-time record marksman, Vic Watson. The Girton-born centre-forward’s finest moment against the Reds – and arguably of his Claret and Blue career – came on 1 September 1930, when he scored four times in a 7-0 First Division victory at the Boleyn Ground. That result was also West Ham’s record League win over the Merseysiders, while Watson’s goals were the only hat-trick ever scored by a Hammer against Liverpool.
5 Michail Antonio has scored for West Ham in five different matches against Liverpool. The No30 opened his account with a flying header in a 2-0 Premier League win at the Boleyn Ground on 2 January 2016, then added another in an FA Cup fourth-round replay at the same venue a month later. Antonio added further Premier League goals at Anfield in December 2016 and February 2018, before making it five in a 1-1 home draw in February 2019.
1 Tony Cottee was sent-off for the only time in his 336-game West Ham United career in a goalless Premier League draw at Anfield on 10 September 1994. The game was Cottee’s first appearance for the Hammers in five-and-a-half years following his return from the Reds’ great local rivals Everton.
6 Six current West Ham United players – if you include winger Felipe Anderson, who is on loan at FC Porto – made their Hammers debuts in matches against Liverpool. Łukasz Fabiański, Ryan Fredericks, Fabián Balbuena, Felipe Anderson and substitute Andriy Yarmolenko all did so in a 4-0 Premier League defeat at Anfield in August 2018, while Saïd Benrahma was introduced as a late replacement in the 2-1 Premier League reverse on Merseyside in October last year.
13 David Martin spent four-and-a-half years on Liverpool’s books between 2006-10. The goalkeeper, who celebrated his 35th birthday on 22 January, joined the Reds from MK Dons as a 19-year-old, became a regular in the reserve team and was an unused substitute for the first team on 13 occasions. After loan spells with five different Football League clubs, Martin returned to MK Dons on a permanent basis in May 2010.
22 Mark Noble has faced Liverpool on 22 occasions as a West Ham United player, scoring three goals and registering four assists. Of those 22 appearances, six have ended in wins, two in draws and 14 in defeats.
2 When West Ham United beat Liverpool 2-0 in a Second Division fixture at the Boleyn Ground on 25 February 1956, both goals were scored by Liverpool players – the unfortunate John Molyneux and Geoff Twentyman!
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistant Referees: Marc Perry and Daniel Robathan
Fourth Official: Andrew Madley
VAR: Craig Pawson
Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick
Born in Sunderland in 1970, Jonathan Moss won a football scholarship at Central Connecticut State University in the United States but completed his studies with a degree in teaching and physical education at the University of Leeds.
Moss played Academy football for Sunderland and Millwall before opting to become a physical education teacher, teaching future Liverpool and England star James Milner at Westbrook Lane Primary School in Leeds!
Moss’s refereeing career began in the Northern Counties East League and Northern Premier League before he was promoted to the National Group of assistant referees in 2003.
He became a Football League referee in 2005 and a Premier League referee in 2011, before taking charge of the 2015 FA Cup final at Wembley.
The 50-year-old has refereed West Ham United 28 times in total since a 2-1 Championship defeat at Derby County on New Year’s Eve 2011.
Strangely, this is Moss’s third Hammers appointment in a row in which the Londoners face Liverpool, as he refereed both Premier League meetings last season.