In the 28th round of fixtures of the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign, David Moyes’ returns to familiar Merseyside territory with West Ham United to take on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, in what promises to be an intriguing matchup.
The Reds are fresh from a 0-5 UEFA Champions League thrashing of Porto over a week ago, while the Hammers have enjoyed an even longer rest since they were last in action, defeating Watford at home exactly a fortnight ago, the hosts are the firm favourites for this one.
The clash is scheduled to take place tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 24 February 2018), with a kick-off time of 3 PM GMT and as is customary with Saturday afternoon stars, no live Television coverage available for viewing in the United Kingdom.
However, you can tune into live Radio commentary of the affair on BBC Radio London, alternatively, if you don’t have access to a Radio device tomorrow afternoon, be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter for live build-up, updates and reaction from the North West.
The visit of Moyes’ East Londoners will be held at Liverpool’s historic and famous home stadium of Anfield, situated right in the heart of the city of Liverpool and Anfield region.
The world-renowned venue opened in 1884 and ironically, was the initial home of the club’s fierce rivals Everton, though they took over from them after the Toffees were involved in a dispute, moving to the nearby Goodison Park.
Anfield has a capacity of just over 54,000 in the wake of recent redevelopments to the Main Stand and a record attendance of over 61,000, the ground is infamous for its fearsome Kop End, which houses a large portion of the overall atmosphere.
Tomorrow will be the Irons’ 67th visit to the traditional stadium, in their last outing there, goals from Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio rescued them a point, with Adam Lallana and Divok Origi netting for the home side, Moyes has never left Anfield victorious as a manager.
Reds manager Klopp will have the liberty of a fully-fit squad to pick from when it comes to selecting his starting Xl, with promising youngster Rhian Brewster the only current casualty.
Full-backs Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne are expected to be in the squad having recently returned from knocks, while Emre Can is back after a suspension, though we will know more after the German’s Pre-Match Press conference.
The story couldn’t be more different for Hammers manager Moyes as his team are still suffering from a real injury crisis, though the situation does look to be improving slightly and more will be known in the wake of his own Presser.
Key Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini is expected to be involved after over a month out with a hamstring injury, so too centre-back Winston Reid, it is not known whether Jose Fonte will feature amid rumours of an imminent move to China, while no long-termers are predicted to return.
The first-teams of Liverpool and West Ham United have met a staggering 136 times in competitive football in a fixture that has been being contested since all the way back in the year of 1901.
Tomorrow’s hosts have been dominant in terms of the overall record, winning 72 of those matches, the visitors have only managed 28 victories in that time and there have been 36 stalemates.
Notable past meetings include the 1981 English League Cup Final and the 2006 FA Cup Final, both were won by the Reds, though the Claret & Blue Army are unbeaten in their last three trips to Anfield, triumphed there in summer 2015 for the first time since 1954.
The last time that the two outfits did battle came just a few months ago in early November 2017 when strikes from Mo Salah twice, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rendered a Lanzini finish useless in Slaven Bilic’s final curtain call at the helm at the London Stadium.
Liverpool Football Club was founded in 1892, 125 years ago and since then has gone onto become one of the most iconic and recognisable teams in the world, winning the second most Major Honours in English football.
On that lost are a staggering five Champions League, three UEFA Cups and European Super Cups and 18 English Top-Flights, though none of them have come since the formation of the Premier League.
Also, on the Merseysiders’ list of achievements is lifting seven FA Cups and eight League Cups, while players such as Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher and managers such as Kenny Dalglish and Bill Shankly have helped to shape their identity.
Nowadays, under successful boss Klopp, the red half of Merseyside currently occupy third place in the PL table, a mere two points off Manchester United above and are still in the knockout stages of the UCL, league wise, a full nine positions and 24 points in front of their opponents on Saturday.
Who is Officiating?
Experienced Select Group and Premier League Referee Stuart Atwell will be the man in the middle at Anfield, acting as his Assistant Referees will be the duo of Richard West and Mark Scholes, with fellow Select Grouper Martin Atkinson in the Fourth Official’s role.
So, now that the Merseyside scene has been well and truly set for an exciting afternoon of Top-Flight action, can Klopp’s home side continue their march up the table with a third win in four in the league?
Or, can Moyes’ away side claim a landmark upset to keep up their run of only one PL defeat in the whole of 2018? Think you know? Be sure to find us on Twitter @MooreThanAClub to cast your late early predictions and join in with the pre-match discussion.