West Ham vs. Liverpool: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV Info

Matt LadsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2016

West Ham United's Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho (R) scores his team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north-west England on August 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LINDSEY PARNABY  RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.        (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool travel to London to face West Ham United in the first Premier League fixture of 2016.

The Reds make the trip to the capital for the early kick-off despite playing in the evening fixture on Wednesday away to Sunderland. West Ham, meanwhile, have had two more days to prepare for the fixture.

Such poor scheduling makes the size of the task for Jurgen Klopp's side even greater, with the Reds seeking to avenge a 3-0 humbling in the reverse fixture at Anfield in August—a game that went a long way to sealing former manager Brendan Rodgers' fate.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29:  Slaven Bilic, manager of West Ham United gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on August 29, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

This fixture last season saw the home side run out 3-1 victors, courtesy of goals from Winston Reid, Diafra Sakho and Morgan Amalfatino—West Ham were 2-0 ahead after just seven minutes.

It's another opportunity for Slaven Bilic to get one over the Merseysiders, having overseen that 3-0 win at Anfield and having also knocked the Reds out of the Europa League as coach of Besiktas earlier in 2015.


Date: Saturday, 2 January, 2016

Time: 12.45 p.m. GMT/7.45 a.m. ET

Venue: Upton Park, London

TV Info: BT Sport (U.K), NBCSN (U.S.)

Live Stream: BT Sport (U.K) / NBCSN Live Extra (U.S.)


Form Lines

After a run of five successive Premier League draws, West Ham recorded their first victory since October when they beat Southampton 2-1 last time out.

Liverpool have recovered from going four games without victory in all competitions to beat Leicester and Sunderland, both 1-0 and both courtesy of a Christian Benteke goal, in their last two outings over the festive fixtures.

West Ham

Won 2-1 vs. Southampton
Drew 1-1 vs. Aston Villa
Drew 0-0 vs. Swansea City
Drew 0-0 vs. Stoke City
Drew 0-0 vs. Man United


SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30:  Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool congratulates his players after the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Liverpool at Stadium of Light on December 30, 2015 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Stu Forst
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Won 1-0 vs. Sunderland
Won 1-0 vs. Leicester City
Lost 3-0 vs. Watford
Drew 2-2 vs. West Bromwich Albion
Drew 0-0 vs. FC Sion (Europa League)


Team News

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24:  Dimitri Payet of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at Boleyn Ground on October 24, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Key man Dimitri Payet returns to West Ham's squad after two months out with an ankle injury. Left-back Aaron Cresswell could also return.

Liverpool are without Martin Skrtel, James Milner and Divock Origi. Daniel Sturridge is training but not likely to be included in this fixture. Jordan Henderson limped off against Sunderland and his fitness isn't clear.


Predicted Lineups

West Ham: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell, Song, Kouyate, Lanzini, Noble, Zarate, E. Valencia.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Benteke.


Players to Watch

West Ham: Manuel Lanzini

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Manuel Lanzini of West Ham United celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on August 29, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Argentine winger Lanzini was one of the key architects of Liverpool's defeat to the Hammers at Anfield in August, scoring the opening goal after just three minutes and setting up the second to claim the man-of-the-match award on his debut.

Making his return from injury as a sub against Southampton last time out, the 22-year-old could make his first start since November.

The Hammers are expected to make his loan signing permanent for £7.4 million, as reported by Daniel Prescott for MailOnline.


Liverpool: Christian Benteke

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30:  Christian Benteke of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Liverpool at Stadium of Light on December 30, 2015 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After two goals in two games over the festive fixtures, Benteke will be key to Liverpool getting a result against the Hammers.

The Belgian forward hasn't convinced with his performances—missing two very presentable chances late on in each of the last two games—but his goals are winning games.


Key Battles: Finishing and Fitness

These two sides are separated by just one place and one point, with Liverpool in seventh and West Ham eighth. Goalscoring has been the issue for both sides, with injury-hit forwards the story for each.

Andy Carroll, the former Liverpool forward, came off the bench to score the winner against Southampton in the last game, but it's just three goals in the last five games for Bilic's side.

West Ham United's English midfielder Michail Antonio (R) celebrates with West Ham United's English striker Andy Carroll (L) after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Southampton at The Bole
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Liverpool have just four goals in their last five league games, with Benteke now their only fit forward owing to injuries to Origi, Sturridge and Danny Ings.

How each side takes their chances will be key to the outcome of this game.

Also key will be how Liverpool cope with two days' less time between games—will Klopp make more changes as a consequence and how will he use his substitutes? West Ham will be fresher and could call on Payet and Lanzini to run at Liverpool's tiring defence in the latter stages.


Odds (via Odds Shark)

West Ham: +303

Liverpool: +105

Draw: +258


Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Liverpool