Football News

Liverpool vs West Ham predicted XIs: Team news as Tomas Soucek downplays facial injury that forced him off in FA Cup

By Ben Green

Published: 10:08, 4 March 2022

Premier League title-chasers Liverpool welcome top four dark horses West Ham to Anfield on Saturday at 5.30pm (UK time).

Jurgen Klopp’s men have bridged the gap on autumnal runaway leaders Manchester City, with six points currently separating the two clubs in first and second respectively, with the Reds also boasting a game in hand.

West Ham meanwhile will be aiming to bounce back from their midweek FA Cup exit to Southampton and enhance their chances of staying in the Premier League top-four race, with David Moyes’ side currently fifth.

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Liverpool team news vs West Ham: Klopp offers Jones encouragement 

Roberto Firmino missed the League Cup final last week with a muscle issue and that is likely to keep him on the shelf for this showdown, with Thiago Alcantara also out of action after he sustained a thigh injury in the warm-up to the Wembley showdown — the expectation is that he’ll be back for the Inter Milan fixture next week.

Curtis Jones is also touch-and-go to make the matchday squad. The 21-year-old was forced off at half-time in Liverpool’s midweek FA Cup win over Norwich, but Klopp downplayed the severity of his injury.

Klopp said: “Curtis played a really good first half. We had to take him off because he felt his thigh slightly.

“I don’t think it’s a real injury, but there was no need to take a risk and that’s why we brought Harvey [Elliott] on, who was good.”

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Predicted Liverpool XI vs West Ham:

  • Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Mane, Diaz. (4-3-3)

West Ham team news vs Liverpool: Soucek pacifies facial injury scare

Tomas Soucek came off in West Ham’s 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Wednesday with a nasty facial injury that saw blood pouring from just above his left eye. Following the contest, though, the midfield stalwart played down fears of a potential injury absence with a social media post that captured the words: “More scars in my selection… I feel ready to fight again, that’s no fear for me!”

Elsewhere, the defensive quartet of Vladimir Coufal, Ryan Fredericks, Arthur Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna ensure Moyes has a skeletal backline that can’t afford any further damage, while Andriy Yarmolenko has understandably been given time off away from football amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Predicted West Ham XI vs Liverpool:

  • Fabianski; Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio. (4-2-3-1)

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