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Liverpool vs West Ham Utd - Sat 31 October, 17.30h, Premier League

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Red2core is Jarg’s ma. Didn’t see that coming. 

I hope Kevin Friend and Chris Kavanah both get Covid 

A serial winner. 39% of the time.

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6 minutes ago, Sir Tokyo Sexwale said:

Antonio fit? Matip not?

Bring forth @Rory Fitzgerald


Thanks Macca.


Synopsis: Settled team/formation that has got good results recently. They have a week to prepare with that “feel good factor”. Antonio is carrying an underlying knock it seems and doesn’t track back a lot, West Ham will leave him up the pitch to manage his mileage when they are defending deep. It also allows him to be a great outlet when they clear the ball. Whilst the rest of the team will be compact, there will be a lot of distance between him and the midfield when they are defending. Also, when he receives the ball and the likes of Fornals, Bowen, Soucek are running to support him, he has been fouled but taken quick frees to capitalize on the forward momentum of supporting players whilst the opposition slowdown/switch-off. With high spirits, good results and a week to prepare, we should see a team with a lot of energy executing a specific game plan, one that has seen 11 goals scored in the last 4 games.

Team / Formation: After starting the season with Noble in a 4-3-3, West Ham have been playing a stable team with a back 3, 2 wingbacks, 2 CMs, Antonio upfront and Fornals & Bowen outwide. Call it a 5-4-1 in defence and 3-4-3 in attack. Noble has not featured recently.

Fabianski (1)

Coufal (5) Balbuena (4) Ogbonna (21) Cresswell (3) Massuaku (26)

Bowen (20) Soucek (28) Rice (41) Fornals (18)

Antonio (30)

Recent Form: Spirits are high in the camp, after 2 defeats in their first 2 games, West Ham then beat Wolves 4-0, Leicester 3-0 and then got 2 draws with Spurs (3-3) and Man City (1-1).

Sound Bite General Form: “At the moment, we’re in as good a form as many clubs, so we’ve got good players and if we can get them playing, we can do well

Sound Bite Midfield: “The boys in the middle of the park have been very good and we’re getting better in all the other areas and the big thing is we’ve got competition”

Sound Bite Up Front: Michail Antonio has been 1st sub in the last 2 games, on 77mins vs Spurs and 52mins vs City – “He came off against Spurs with something similar. He didn’t miss training so we hope it’s not much. He is so important to us. He couldn’t decide if he was cramping up or not. We will get him scanned and see how he is. Obviously, it’s worrying me that it’s two games in a row that he’s felt it. He’s really important to us so we’re going to have to do the right thing and try and look after him when we can and it might be the odd time we’re not able to use him

Sound Bite Energy: “The first thing I had to get when I came back to the Club was energy, players who could run and players who could compete and know their jobs. From there, we would see what the players bring us and, for example, Tomas Soucek has brought us something different, Jarrod Bowen has come into the team and we’ve still got Said Benrahma to join us in the coming weeks

Sound Bite Liverpool: “The plan is to go to Liverpool next Saturday and make it five games [unbeaten] in the Premier League. We’ve been on a really tough run of games so I don’t think many people would have thought we’d take the points that we have, but that’s two good victories and two good draws back-to-back and we want to build on it”.

Goals Scored:

  • Quick Free Kicks: The opening goals against Wolves and Leicester were scored by winning the ball back on the edge of their box, hitting Antonio on the half way line who gets fouled by a defender but on both occasions they take a quick free kick and score. The 2nd goal against Wolves was also an out-ball to Antonio who shrugged off Coady and got them up the field with Soucek scoring.
  • Left side delivery: 2 goals against Wolves and 2 goals against Spurs came from left sided deliveries. Cresswell corner for near post header by Soucek, Massuaku cross to back post for Haller, Cresswell free kick to back post for Balbuena and Cresswell free kick to near post that Spurs cleared and Lanzini fired in from outside the box.
  • Near Post: West Ham scored near post against us at a corner last season and Everton did this season. Soucek and Rice at times look to arc a run as a free/corner is being taken and get across the first defender.

Goals Conceded: Looking at some of the highlights of the recent games, more chances seem to come down the right side between Coufal (RB) and Balbuena (RCB). If we are on that side and crossing the ball, then whilst we are not the tallest, Creswell (5’7) would be defending the far post on the opposite side. Soucek tends to get forward more than Rice and Soucek typically covers the right side of the central midfield. So there might be a bit more space there when the game breaks down and quickly release Mane.

WestHam Team.PNG

Here is the example of how far Antonio has been from the defence to offer an outlet, win the free kicks and then take the quick free kicks which have led to the opening goals against Wolves and Leicester

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Milner was pretty dreadful for much of last night though. First half in particular.

I think if Williams is going to be needed for Atalanta and/or City away, we may as well play him in this.

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I know Klopp said he had planned to take off Hendo at half-time no matter what, but I wonder if it was with a view that he'll be needed back there on Saturday. I'd be minded to give Williams another home game if he's going to be needed for two hugely tough away games, though.

What a s***show this is spiralling into.

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15 minutes ago, Hightown Phil said:

Wouldn't shock me if Henderson started at centre back I don't think. Thiago and Wijnaldum in the midfield potentially as a two and then maybe the same front four as last week. Wouldn't be favour of that but sort of what I think we might get. 

Its getting to that stage were we're looking at the options to see what will be least surprising.

The options are (A) playing an established player like Henderson out of position, (B) playing an inexperienced player in his correct position like Williams, (C) moving a full back into centre half or (D) changing shape to a back 3 with a full back in there.

I think its a toss up between A & B. I dont see the other 2 as likely. I dont see the full backs as being centre half material, also they are too good to shift. And the shape, it could change for a one-off but even then its unlikely.


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14 minutes ago, Begbie said:

As much as I hate International breaks this could be good timing. I'm hoping some of our fit players gets rest as well as giving the injured ones more time to heal

They'll pretty much all be playing in internationals surely?

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51 minutes ago, Swipe said:

Milner was pretty dreadful for much of last night though. First half in particular.

I think if Williams is going to be needed for Atalanta and/or City away, we may as well play him in this.

Yeah Milner looks finished tbh, should only be used for the last 20 minutes of games 

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