10th of August 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Two of the most active Premier League clubs on the transfer market clash in the first Sunday of the season as Liverpool host West Ham United at Anfield. Last season Liverpool defeated West Ham quite clearly in both league matches, the Reds won 4-1 both home and away. Mohamed Salah scored three of the eight goals in the two matches. Liverpool are undefeated in the last six matches against the Hammers in all competitions and have won the last three, while West Ham have not tasted victory at Anfield since 2015.
Liverpool are quite optimistic ahead of the new season after having secured some important new players over the summer. The Reds have bought four players and spent nearly 170 million pounds, but they should be a lot stronger now with Alisson in goal and Naby Keita in midfield, along with Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri. Keita, Alisson and Fabinho should be in the starting eleven on Sunday, and Shaqiri might also get a chance after good performances in pre-season. Dejan Lovren is not yet fully fit after an extended World Cup holiday, while fellow central defender Joel Matip is injured. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a long-term absentee for the home side, and Ragnar Klavan is also out.
West Ham United are looking forward to the new season after having brought in a new manager and several new players. Manager Manuel Pellegrini has been in charge of a massive squad overhaul this summer, with ten new players coming in. Forward Lucas Perez was signed from Arsenal on transfer deadline day after the Hammers had brought in Felipe Anderson from Lazio, Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund, Jack Wilshere on a free transfer, Ryan Fredericks from Fulham, Lukasz Fabianski from Swansea, Fabian Balbuena from Corinthians, Issa Diop from Toulouse and Xande Silva from Vitoria de Guimaraes. Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll are injured and won't be able to play on Sunday, while new signing Andriy Yarmolenko is a doubt.
Liverpool: Alisson - Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson - Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita - Mane, Firmino, Salah
West Ham: Fabianski - Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell - Obiang, Noble, Wilshere - Yarmolenko, Anderson, Arnautovic
My prediction: Liverpool are much stronger and West Ham will need time to gel, I believe the Reds will win 2-0.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Liverpool win - 1.25
Draw - 6.50
West Ham win - 14.00
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