Can Pellegrini’s men avoid fourth straight defeat?

West Ham will look to avoid their fourth straight defeat across all competitions when they host table toppers Liverpool on Monday night at the London Stadium.

The Hammers have had a nightmarish fortnight, losing to Bournemouth and Wolves in the league and getting knocked out of the FA Cup by lowly Wimbledon. Their fantastic December run now seems ages ago, and their season appears to be in danger of imploding.

Against Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves, Manuel Pellegrini’s men failed to register even a single shot on target. Even worse, they watched talismanic forward Marko Arnautovic, restored to the starting XI after sitting out the Bournemouth game, hobble off with a serious looking foot injury.

Liverpool are perhaps the last team West Ham would want to meet now. The Reds have opened a five point lead at the top of the table and are bidding to win their maiden Premier League trophy. They dropped points on Wednesday night against Leicester, with Sadio Mane’s early strike cancelled out by Harry Maguire, but still remain in pole position for the title.

The Reds gave West Ham a 4-0 thrashing when the two sides met on the opening day of the season at Anfield. That was one of young Declan Rice’s poorer displays in a Hammers jersey- he was hooked at the interval, but the midfielder has recovered from their nightmarish afternoon and is now an ever present in Pellegrini’s first choice XI. He was excellent against Arsenal when West Ham claimed a famous 1-0 win over Unai Emery’s men a few weeks ago, and will be hoping for an encore against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Dec

This fixture looks like an excellent one to do some live betting on. Liverpool have scored four goals in each of the last four fixtures between the two sides and have always managed to find the back of the net in the ten minute period just before the hour mark. Of course, if they don’t and the home side holds firm, the odds will change, giving bettors a chance to either wager on the overall outcome, the props, or both. Keep this in mind as the odds will surely fluctuate and there might be an opportunity to strike while the scales are tipped in a certain direction. Be aware that each sportsbook’s odds are a little different and they get updated at different times so compare a few before starting. According to this article, sites that rapidly update their odds may also offer a bonus just by using their live betting platform, while others may not.

There’s also the matter of the ref for this game, Kevin Friend. Liverpool have won their last six league games under him, and kept clean sheets in all of those games. It doesn’t exactly augur well for poor West Ham, who also lost to Brighton at the Amex earlier this season when Friend was in charge.

With Man City playing a day before against Arsenal, Liverpool will know exactly what they need to do against the Hammers. If City and Spurs drop points, the Reds could open an eight point lead with a win against Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

West Ham v Liverpool kicks off on 4 February, 2019 (20.00 UK)

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