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Liverpool predicted line-up vs West Ham as Jurgen Klopp prepares without key men

Liverpool will be keen to build on their weekend victory over Manchester City when they take on West Ham United on Wednesday, but they will not be at full-strength against the Hammers.

 

Mohamed Salah’s second-half goal was enough for Jurgen Klopp’s team to beat the reigning champions at Anfield on Saturday to move within 10 points of Pep Guardiola’s men. With City and league leaders Arsenal not in action in midweek, another three points for the Reds can help them close the gap even more.

 

They will have to do it without Diogo Jota, though, after the forward added his name to the injury list. The Portugal international left the field late on in the victory and will not return from injury until after the World Cup.

 

Liverpool didn’t have things all their own way against West Ham last season, losing 3-2 at the London Stadium and claiming a narrow 1-0 win at Anfield.

 

They haven’t lost at home to the Hammers in more than seven years, though, and are expected to still name a strong team – despite some injury concerns – as they look to prolong that run.

 

Goalkeeper and defence

Alisson got a rare assist in Sunday’s win, feeding Salah with a long kick downfield to create the winning goal. The Brazilian hasn’t missed a league game since January and is expected to have a strong defence in front of him.

 

In the middle, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk should continue their partnership. However, there may be some comfort taken in the fact that Nat Phillips – the first backup in the absence of Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip – impressed against West Ham when making his Premier League debut against the club in 2021.

 

Trent Alexander-Arnold made his return from the bench against Manchester City

Trent Alexander-Arnold made his return from the bench against Manchester City

Midfield

Jordan Henderson came off the bench for the final 17 minutes on Sunday, replacing Fabinho. The decision now concerns whether he will partner the Brazilian or take his place, but it may well be the case that it’s Thiago who makes way for the club captain.

 

With Jota joining Luis Diaz among the list of unavailable players, one option available to Klopp is a switch to a 4-4-2. This would allow Harvey Elliott to move out to the right, with Fabio Carvalho potentially in line for a rare start on the left of the four.

 

 

Curtis Jones was on the bench over the weekend, while there has been some positive news on the return to fitness of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. None of the three are likely to be starters on Wednesday, though.

Liverpool will be chasing back-to-back wins as they host West Ham United

Liverpool will be chasing back-to-back wins as they host West Ham United

Forwards

“Not good news, about Diogo, he will miss the World Cup, pretty serious injury in the calf muscle,” Klopp said after Jota’s absence was confirmed by the club’s medical staff. “The process starts from now.”

 

With Jota and Diaz unavailable, there will be some pressure on Mohamed Salah to deliver. Last season’s top scorer has nine goals in all competitions this term, including four in the last two games, but failed to score in either game against West Ham last season.

 

The decision for Klopp concerns whether to partner the Egyptian with Darwin Nunez or Roberto Firmino. It was Firmino who got the nod on Sunday, with Nunez replacing him for the final 18 minutes, but it could be time for the Uruguayan after he scored in each of his last two starts.

 

Liverpool go into the game two points clear of West Ham, but six outside the Champions League spots. The league title might be beyond them, but three points on Wednesday can help their top-four push.

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