Jurgen Klopp takes his title chasing Liverpool side to face West Ham United at the London Stadium tonight in another crunch clash.
After Man City comfortably beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad yesterday on the back of a Sergio Aguero hat-trick, Pep Guardiola’s side closed the gap between themselves and Liverpool to only 2 points heaping pressure on Klopp’s men to win and claim all 3 points to reinstate their lead back to 5 points.
So far Liverpool have not relinquished their lead since they went to the top of the table over the festive period so losing against the Hammers would be a serious blow meaning one more loss coupled with a City win would leave them behind Guardiola’s side.
The Hammers have had a greatly improved season following a very slow start under new boss Manuel Pellegrini. West Ham have played teams at the top end of the table very well this season registering wins over Man United, Arsenal and Everton as well as earning a point from a 0-0 draw with Chelsea.
Liverpool did beat West Ham 4-0 in their first meeting this season which was on the opening weekend of the season but Pellegrini’s side are much improved since then so the Reds will be expecting a much tougher game at the London Stadium and Klopp has conceded he is not enjoying the title race.
Liverpool will be without long-term absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tonight who is going to be out for a few more weeks with his anterior cruciate ligament injury but on the plus side he was on the recent warm weather training trip to Dubai. Joe Gomez will be sidelined for another few weeks as he is still recovering from an ankle break while more short-term absentees like Dejan Lovren with his hamstring problem and Trent Alexander-Arnold will also both miss the Hammers clash but could be available again to Liverpool sooner rather than later.
The Reds chose not to bring in any new signings this January so Klopp obviously feels they have enough strength in the squad although the decision to loan Nathaniel Clyne to Bournemouth does look questionable now that Alexander-Arnold is injured as captain Jordan Henderson had to fill in at right-back in last week’s tie with Leicester City.
Tonight’s game will be a tough one but we expect Liverpool to come out on top with a 2-1 win.