Liverpool faces a tricky away game at West Ham as they try to hold onto a top four spot and qualify for next season’s Champions League. The reward is lucrative, but with Man Utd and Arsenal breathing down Liverpool’s neck the pressure is on and this will be a tough game for Jurgen Klopp’s men. The Hammers will be full of confidence after putting Tottenham to the sword in their last game and will make life difficult for Liverpool.
That 1-0 victory over Spurs is the highlight of an otherwise poor season for West Ham fans. There is a fierce rivalry between the two clubs, and all but ending Tottenham’s faint hopes of winning the league will have caused them great joy. West Ham are actually improving as the season goes on. Struggling to adapt to a new stadium and the Dimitri Payet saga hampered performances for the first half of the campaign and West Ham flirted with relegation. Slaven Bilic’s job has been under threat for a long time and they have certainly regressed after a strong showing last season.
But now they are unbeaten in five games. If Bilic is trying to save his job for next season, he is going the right way about it. Nine points from a possible 15 has sent them up to 12th in the table, well clear of the relegation zone and threatening to break into the top half by the last day of the season. Manuel Lanzini was too hot for Spurs’ excellent backline to handle and West Ham defended resolutely to see out the win. Resolute has not been one of the adjectives used to describe West Ham too often this season as they have shipped 59 goals in 36 games, and clean sheets have been few and far between. But they have now gone three games without conceding, which is a fantastic achievement.
Liverpool have struggled against the Hammers this season. Bilic’s men went to Anfield in the relegation zone, on the back of a hiding at the hands of Arsenal, back in December and they were being tipped to go down. But West Ham battled to a 2-2 draw. Next, they met at Anfield in the FA Cup fourth round and West Ham secured a 0-0 draw and then won the replay 2-1 in front of their home fans. In three games Liverpool have not beaten West Ham this season, and you would have to fancy West Ham’s chances of getting a result here.
Liverpool were sluggish in drawing 0-0 with Southampton last time out. They can point to James Milner’s missed penalty and say they were unlucky, but they lacked spark. They have really missed the pace and dynamism of Sadio Mane and will struggle to unlock this newly resolute West Ham defence.
The draw looks quite interesting at 3/1 with green listed bookmakers Bet Victor, Paddy Power and Stan James. You can also get a great price on West Ham draw no bet, which is 29/10 with 888 Sport. Given West Ham’s performances against Liverpool this season, the form they are in and the fact that they have home advantage makes that look a very attractive set of odds. Or you could go West Ham-draw double chance at 5/4 with Bet365. To get better than even money and cover both of those outcomes looks really enticing. For correct score betting, Bet Victor has 15/2 on 1-1 and Ladbrokes has 12/1 on 0-0, both of which look good options. If big Andy Carroll is fit to start he will relish the chance to take on his former club and could be a good option to score at any time at 11/4 with Betway.