Liverpool U21s v West Ham United U21s
Premier League 2, Liverpool Training Centre, Saturday 4 November, 2pm
West Ham United U21s are back in Premier League 2 action with a trip to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.
The Hammers’ third of four fixtures in 12 days sees a trip to Merseyside in search of successive PL2 wins and clean sheets.
Impressing under lead coach Steve Potts, the U21s are ten games unbeaten following a win over Newport County in the EFL Trophy last Tuesday.
Read on for our full preview below:
Potts: Players must learn to deal with busy fixture list
Lead coach Steve Potts says that Liverpool will be one of the U21s’ toughest tests of the season.
The Hammers head to Liverpool Training Centre looking to extend an unbeaten run to ten games this weekend.
And following on from an impressive win over Newport County, the young Hammers are in a good place as they head to Merseyside.
“If you look at it on paper, it has been four games in 12 days,” Potts stated. “We started with a tough game against Middlesbrough last Friday, who are an excellent team and high up in the division. We did well there.
“We then went up [against Newport County] in a tough game against seasoned professionals but we found a way.
“I always look at Liverpool away as one of our toughest fixtures in the league, because it is a hard place to go.
“Everything comes into it because you’re away from home, it’s overnight, and it’s our third game of the week.
“The challenge is there to see if we can go again against tough opposition. Let’s hope the boys can.”
Scarles: We must push on after EFL Trophy success
Words couldn’t describe the U21s win over Newport County last time out, although Ollie Scarles is focused on maintaining the high levels set by his side so far in 2023/24.
A proper battle unfolded at Rodney Parade as the Hammers booked their place in the last 32 for the first time since 2020/21 with a 1-0 win.
Ten games unbeaten now is some run – but one Scarles wants his side to continue against Liverpool next time out.
“The boys were brilliant against Newport,” Scarles stated. “We couldn’t be happier with the result.
“There is a real togetherness with the squad, and you can see that on and off the pitch. The boys did brilliantly on Tuesday. We stuck together to see out the win and reach the next round…and to get six points…it’s been a perfect two games.
“It will be nice to continue the unbeaten run against Liverpool. We’ve got to stick to how we play and take the league games as they come and hopefully, we win as many as we can.
The result on Tuesday means that Steve Potts is yet to taste defeat in his first ten games in charge.
Heading into the Hammers eighth PL2 game of the season, Scarles praised the work of Steve Potts.
The former defender has continued the work done by Mark Robson last season after he stepped up from assistant coach to lead coach in September following Robson's promotion to first team staff.
“Steve is a brilliant manager,” Scarles added. “I think it shows how we play and the results we’re picking up. We are doing well and let’s hope we can continue this run for as long as possible!”
Last Time Out
West Ham United U21s reached the EFL Trophy last 32 with a clinical 1-0 win over Newport County on Tuesday.
Gideon Kodua’s stunning strike just past the hour secured all three points and a knockout place for the first time since 2020/21.
Seven games. Four wins. Two draws. And one defeat.
Liverpool U21s and West Ham United U21s' start to the PL2 season has been the same with the two sides separated by just goal difference, as it stands.
The Reds’ sole league defeat in 2023/24 came to Middlesbrough in September and they will seek a repeat of the 1-0 win over the Hammers in this fixture last term.
How to Follow
We will have a live blog on the Club website, with report, reaction, and highlights to follow shortly after the full-time whistle.