Liverpool-West Ham United Preview
It remains business as usual for unbeaten Liverpool, who are doing their best to stay focused whilst the rest of the Premier League remains well back in the distance.
The Reds aim for a 15th straight league triumph when they visit London Stadium to face West Ham United in a re-scheduled contest on Wednesday night.
As the remarkable Premier League season that is Liverpool football continues, the Reds (22-1-0) sit a whopping 16 points up on second-place Manchester City, whose league-record 18 consecutive victories seems likely to be surpassed by the runaway leaders from Merseyside. Liverpool ran their league unbeaten run to 40 consecutive matches with a 2-1 victory at Wolves on Jan. 23.
"I don't think about (winning the title)," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said. "I just think about winning the next matches … let's carry on.
"It's over when it's over, not before."
Jordan Henderson scored in the eighth minute and assisted on Roberto Firmino's go-ahead score in the 84th for Liverpool, who prevailed whilst also conceding their first league goal since Dec. 4 versus Everton.
Whilst the dominance in the Premier League continues for Liverpool, they only managed a 2-2 draw with League One-side Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup this weekend. Meaning, a replay at Anfield will be needed to see who will advance in the storied competition.
Klopp has already stated his senior players won't play in the replay on Feb. 4, scheduled during the Premier League's winter break. One senior player who does not appear to be fit for Wednesday's clash is Sadio Mane (13 goals over all competitions), meaning Japanese midfielder Takumi Minamino could get another extended look for Liverpool during the mid-week.
The Reds find themselves amidst a 4-2-0 Premier League stretch against West Ham (6-5-12), who are desperately in need of a league win. Though the Hammers are currently one spot above the drop zone in 17th place, they are tied on 23 points with both Bournemouth and Watford, who are in the bottom three.
West Ham have managed two goals during an 0-1-2 league stretch that dates to a 4-0 home victory over Bournemouth on New Year's Day. The Hammers also fell 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion at home in FA Cup play over the weekend.
Not exactly the form West Ham want to have whilst preparing to face what is arguably the best football club on the planet at the moment.
"We have a game on Wednesday and we need to buck our ideas up because (Liverpool) are pretty good," midfielder Mark Noble told West Ham's official website.
"It's a relegation battle, there's no denying it. We need to win five or six games to give us a chance of being safe … The players are at this level for this reason and confidence is a massive thing. I believe in every single one of them (to turn this around)."
Noble has recorded three of his four league goals this season over his last four contests. However, he's gone six straight Premier League without one versus Liverpool.
Updated January 27, 2020