Liverpool v West Ham United
Jurgen Klopp has dismissed talk that Liverpool are favourites for the title ahead of their season opener against West Ham on Sunday.
Several pundits have suggested that the Reds are the team to beat this term after a busy summer of transfer activity, with Klopp bringing in the likes of Allison, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri in the close season.
The German, who is looking to win his first piece of silverware with Liverpool, though insists Manchester City remain the team to beat and feels his team ‘need to want more and fight more’.
Klopp has some defensive issues to contend with as he prepares to take on the Hammers, with Dejan Lovren missing and Joel Matip expected to remain sidelined with a muscle injury. The hosts will also hand a late fitness to new man Fabinho, who is a doubtful due to illness.
West Ham have won just one of their last 45 top-flight matches at Anfield, but that did come in Liverpool‘s opening home game of the 2015-16 season when the Hammers won 0-3.
New West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has already stated that his team will play ‘attacking football’ and several of his summer additions could make their competitive debuts at Anfield.
Jack Wilshere and Felipe Anderson are expected to feature, while Carlos Sanchez is in contention after completing a deal before Thursday’s deadline. Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko is doubtful though, having picked up a thigh problem.
The stats don’t make good reading for the Hammers. Liverpool have scored four goals in their last three meetings with West Ham, including a 4-1 win in this fixture last season, while West Ham have lost 11 of their opening-day games in the Premier League era – more than any other club.