David Moyes, who hasn’t won at Anfield in 16 attempts, speaks to Sky Sports. “The form the players have been in justifies going with the same team. Obviously we look at all the opponents and decide what’s right, but the form of the players is making it quite easy for me. Liverpool are a fantastic team. The crowd normally play such a part. Not to have them here, I hope we can try to take advantage of it.” He’s also looking forward to seeing how Sebastien Haller changes the dynamic of West Ham’s attack in Michail Antonio’s absence, and says he’ll not be rushing Saïd Benrahma into the team just for the sake of it, preferring to build up his fitness and bed him in slowly.
Jurgen Klopp’s solution to the Van Dijk / Matip / Fabinho problem: 23-year-old Nathaniel Phillips. He spent most of his time out on loan last season in the Bundesliga 2 with Stuttgart, but also made his Liverpool debut against Everton in the FA Cup. This will be his Premier League debut. Thiago is still recovering from injury, but Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all return after being rested to varying degrees against Midtjylland during the week.
West Ham make one change to the XI that drew with Manchester City last week. Sebastien Haller comes in for the hamstrung Micail Antonio.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Phillips, Robertson, Jones, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Milner, Adrian, Minamino, Jota, Shaqiri, Rhys Williams, Neco Williams.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Bowen, Soucek, Rice, Fornals, Haller.
Subs: Yarmolenko, Benrahma, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Diop, Fredericks, Randolph.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).
On the face of it, this should be a shoo-in. Liverpool have won the last three stagings of this fixture by an aggregate score of 11-3. West Ham have only won here once in their last 47 attempts, a run stretching back to 1963. Liverpool have won 28 of their last 29 Premier League games at Anfield, and if they avoid defeat today, they’ll equal their club record of 63 home league games unbeaten.
But! West Ham’s sole victory at Anfield in the last 57 years was a 3-0 rout in 2015, when Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren showcased a contemporary dance routine still talked about in hushed tones today. It’s probably pushing the point to say Liverpool wouldn’t mind one or either of them back for this match, given the current crisis in the centre of their defence, but not by much. Joe Gomez was also in Liverpool’s back four that day, for a start.
West Ham are in good nick. They’re unbeaten in four, and come off the back of a very solid performance against Manchester City last weekend. Michail Antonio will be a big miss, but Said Benrahma could make his debut, and David Moyes will be eager to get one over on Liverpool, having previously managed their two biggest rivals. A shock win wouldn’t be that shocking.
The table’s set for a delicious supper of soccer, then … with both a Liverpool and Hammers win more than possible, plus everything in between. It’s on!
Kick off: 5.30pm BST.