Liverpool bounced back from a disappointing and unexpected 3-1 away defeat to Hull by seeing off Norwich 5-1 at Anfield in midweek, but their attention must now turn to the visit of West Ham to Anfield at 3pm this afternoon.
The hosts have no fresh absentees this weekend, but Daniel Sturridge (ankle) and Jose Enrique (knee) remain sidelined. The England striker, who had been in fine form before picking up his injury during training before the Hull game, looks set to be out until late December or early January, while Enrique is likely to make his return in February. The main selection dilemma for Brendan Rodgers will be whether to start Joe Allen or Lucas in the centre of midfield.
West Ham meanwhile will be without Ravel Morrison, a player who looks to be one to watch for the future, after he picked up his fifth booking of the season against Crystal Palace earlier in the week. The England U21 international was perhaps lucky to escape a lengthier ban after he appeared to push Palace defender Joel Ward in the face after the final whistle, but the FA decided not to retrospectively punish him. The Hammers will also be without Winston Reid (ankle), while Mladen Petric (calf) and Razvan Rat (hamstring) are also likely to miss out. Andy Carroll will miss out on a chance to play against his old club since making his move to London permanent over the summer, and has yet to feature in any of West Ham’s games so far this season due to a foot injury. Despite resuming light training during the week, Allardyce will not want to rush the striker back too soon and risk adding further to the list of injuries that led to the re-signing of Carlton Cole who had previously been released over the summer.
Liverpool’s home form his season has seen them pick up 18 points from a possible 21. They have won 6 out of 7 home games so far this season, losing only to surprise package Southampton, and have scored 10 goals in the process, conceding only 4. Just 5 points separates them in fourth from ninth-placed Manchester United, and their impressive home form so far this season will no doubt need to continue, with a tough run of away fixtures coming up that will see them face trips to Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea before the end of the month. In the absence of Daniel Sturridge much emphasis will be on Luis Suarez to continue his spectacular start to the season that has seen him bag score 13 times in only 9 games since his return from suspension, making him the current top scorer in the Premier League. Four of these goals game in the 5-1 win over Norwich earlier in the week, with the Uruguayan also setting up Raheem Sterling for his side’s 5th goal.
West Ham’s last game saw them lose 1-0 away at Crystal Palace. The visitors have largely not faired well on their travels this season, picking up only 6 points from 7 away games so far, and currently find themselves languishing in seventeenth place, just 3 points above the relegation zone. They have also struggled to score goals, finding the net on just 12 occasions (one less than Suarez), perhaps not helped by he absence of Andy Carroll. Their confidence levels coming into the game are unlikely to be helped by the fact that they haven’t won a league game at Anfield since 1963, losing 29 of their 40 subsequent trips to the red half ov Merseyside.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-0 West Ham.
Follow coverage of the game LIVE on Twitter with us at @footyblog!