David Moyes’ purple patch side travel take on his old enemy.
Twelfth places travels to second as Liverpool host West Ham at Anfield on Saturday.
The Hammers are coming into this match in good form. They’re unbeaten in their last four despite playing Manchester City and London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in their last two games. A game away at last season’s champions stands in their way next.
Liverpool on the other hand enter this match following a 2-1 home win over last season’s surprise package Sheffield United but in their two previous games before that they got a draw and a loss. Despite the visitors coming into this game in a better run of form, the Reds can be confident.
West Ham are winless in their last eight league meetings against the Merseyside club, losing six and drawing the other two. As well as this David Moyes has a notoriously bad record against the reigning Premier League champions.
According to Transfermarkt, Moyes has managed 33 games against Liverpool in all competitions. Of those 33, he has only won five and has lost 19. With this poor record against the Reds and his winless record at Anfield, Liverpool fans can feel quite optimistic going into this match.
Although this is quite worrying for West Ham, there is hope. In their last match, they got their first point against Manchester City since January 2016. In the eight games since they had lost on aggregate 25-3. A goal from their new talisman, Michail Antonio, earnt them a hard-fought point against the Citizens.
The aforementioned Antonio is experiencing a purple patch of form. This season he has scored against Leicester City, Arsenal and Manchester City. All clubs are playing in a European competition this season, as are Liverpool. In fact, he has got 25% of the Hammers’ goals this season. He is in good form and is coming up against a defence that look out of sorts.
This season their defence has had a significant downgrade from last season. By the numbers, it has been a decline that started last season.
Throughout last season, Liverpool conceded on average 0.87 goals a game, this rose to 1.33 after the lockdown break. This season it has had a sharp increase to 1.37. Although seven of their 13 goals conceded came to Aston Villa, the Reds are conceding more shots a game.
According to WhoScored, they’re conceding 9.5 shots per 90. This is a relatively small increase from the nine last season however, the underlying numbers show the quality of chance they’re conceding has also increased.
In 2019/20, UnderStat’s expected goals model said Liverpool should have been conceding 1.04 goals per 90 but post lockdown this had jumped to 1.21. This season it has increased again as it now sits at 1.37. This has to be taken with a pinch of salt due to the small sample size but with Virgil Van Dijk missing and Antonio in this form, West Ham could exploit Liverpool’s defensive issues.