After a solid transfer window for both teams, Liverpool welcome the Hammers to Anfield for their first Premier League clash of the season. Finishing a merely 13th place last term, West Ham have bolstered their ranks tremendously this summer bringing in the likes of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko who they will be hoping can push them towards a place in Europe.
Last season saw West Ham get battered 4-1 in both legs against Liverpool, something they hope will not be repeated at Anfield this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp has been quizzed on his team’s ability to challenge Man City for the Premier League title: “My own expectations are always high.
“Make the best of it. It was pretty normal there would be one season when we would spend more money. We had to create a squad which is strong enough and wide enough to cope with the Premier League.
“People ask me already if it’s the best squad we have ever had – I don’t think about that because it’s not about what we have now, it’s about what we make of it.
“It’s about how often we deliver.”
When asked about his summer signings ahead of his first season as West Ham manager, Pellegrini said: “When I talked with the owners, we agreed we needed to work on a project.
“They wanted to invest money to bring in players. We have improved the squad, all of the players are here because I asked for them.
“For me as a manager, it’s difficult when you don’t have options. We have options, I choose the starting XI and they know that during the whole season, you need a strong squad.
“We have two players in each position and they must work in a competitive way and it’s my duty to pick the team I think is the best.”
£43m signing Fabinho will have a late fitness test ahead of the Premier League opener. Liverpool’s new Brazilian was sent home early from training earlier in the week to have a scan on a suspected muscle injury. It is thought this came back clear, however the midfielder could be forced to make his debut from the bench.
Jurgen Klopp faces a dilemma in defence as Lovren, Matip and Klavan are all unavailable. Joe Gomez however could be available after being left out of Liverpool’s final pre-season game against Torino.
Andy Carrol, Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Antonio will not feature this Sunday. New signing Andriy Yarmolenko is also a doubt due to a slight hip problem he acquired during pre-season.
This won’t be a walk in the park for Liverpool despite being second favourites for the title this season, especially with a lack of depth at the back. However, I don’t see West Ham having many chances and Liverpool’s deadly trio could prove too much for this new-look West Ham side.
Liverpool to win 3-0.