Liverpool are up next for West Ham and the strange atmosphere around the club refuses to dissipate. The positivity of the magnificent comeback against Tottenham was tempered somewhat by the loss of a two-goal lead at Palace. Michail Antonio received a huge amount of criticism for his failure to run the ball into the corner in the dying seconds of the game, Garth Crooks going as far as saying he should be made to train with the kids as punishment. While Antonio clearly made a huge error it should be pointed out that this happened nearly 100 yards away from the West Ham goal, I am more concerned by how many players were breaking to get up in support of Antonio at that stage of the game and how easily Zaha was allowed to get his shot away in the area. It is a depressingly cynical phrase but game management is absolutely essential and had West Ham shown the nous in the games against Burnley and Palace we would have 4 more points and these could prove crucial. In truth, the Palace game could be viewed as a point won because without some brilliant goalkeeping from Joe Hart West Ham could have easily lost that game and the speculation about the managers’ job would have reached fever pitch.
Antonio misses the game on Saturday because of a hamstring strain, as does Jose Fonte, Sam Byram and James Collins as well as Zabaleta missing the game through suspension. West Ham must field a patched together defence against a Liverpool side with such attacking options one might fear the worst. That being said Liverpool have played midweek and are terrible from defensive set plays and were absolutely obliterated by a rampant Tottenham in their last away game. West Ham cannot afford a capitulation here, the players must show fight, make no mistake we are in a relegation battle and so a win here would be vital.
I would play Ogbonna, Reid and Kouyate will play at the back, with Fernandes and Cresswell in the wing back roles, Noble and Obiang in midfield providing protection for the back line with Lanzini just in front, with Ayew alongside Carroll.
This is a massive game, it’s a common theme but if West Ham can start well and get the fans behind the team under the lights maybe just maybe we can get the 3 points we need.