Liverpool vs West Ham – Premier League preview and team news

Liverpool can leapfrog West Ham United in the race for a top-four finish if they can claim victory when the two sides meet at Anfield on Saturday.

Despite some terrific attacking play in two cup competitions, Liverpool have only scored once since their last Premier League outing at Aston Villa. Either side of a frustrating goalless draw with Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup, they more than matched Chelsea in both legs of their Capital One Cup semi-final, but ended up narrowly on the losing side.

It was a major setback, but the positives are that the Reds have been playing some much better football in recent weeks compared to inertia that dominated their play in the first few months of the season, albeit without a regular goalscorer. However, all that may change, with Daniel Sturridge hoping to return here.

West Ham will be prepared to counter his threat, and showed in their last league game against Hull City that they can be ruthless when at full throttle, scoring three in a fine second half display. They followed that up with a professional performance to see off Bristol City in the FA Cup.

Striker Andy Carroll has often talked up his side’s chances of achieving a lofty position this term, and he will be more than motivated ahead of this clash, as it is his first match at Liverpool since leaving the club on a permanent basis in the summer of 2013. His aerial presence will certainly cause problems.

Sturridge is expected to be among the Liverpool substitutes, while Jon Flanagan is still out and Mamadou Sakho is a doubt after being forced off at Chelsea on Tuesday.

Away trio James Tomkins, Alexandre Song and Carl Jenkinson will hope to shake off minor injuries, while Cheikou Kouyate is back from international duty.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Liverpool v West Ham

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