West Ham United vs Liverpool Preview: Hammers looking to dent Liverpool's top four ambitions in London Stadium finale

West Ham United vs Liverpool Preview: Hammers looking to dent Liverpool's top four ambitions in London Stadium finale

West Ham will look to have say in the race for the top four when they take on Liverpool.

Danial_Kennedy
Danial Kennedy

West Ham United will look to another major effect at the top of the Premier League in the London Stadium's final league game of the campaign, as they welcome a Liverpool side that will be desperate to cement their position in the Champions League places.

Looking to break into the top half of the table

It has been a roller coaster season for Slaven Bilić's men in their first season since their move from the iconic Boleyn Gound, but have steadied the ship in the past few weeks and still have the opportunity to finish in the top-half of the table.

At the beginning of April the pressure looked to be at breaking point as they stood just above the relegation zone and on a run of seven games without victory, but since their crucial 1-0 win over Swansea City things have been on the up having not tasted defeat since.

Some will have thought that good run would have come to an end last Friday with Tottenham's visit, but a single goal from Manuel Lanzini ended their bitter rival's title aspirations as Chelsea went onto to clinch the title with their wins over Middlesbrough and West Brom.

Saturday's results have worked in the favour of the Hammers with three points separating them and the eighth-placed Baggies, West Ham are undefeated in their last five encounters with the Reds and they will be more than confident of claiming another scalp on Sunday.

In their own hands

A top-four finish for Jürgen Klopp's seemed certain in the early stages of the campaign, but a bad run at the beginning of 2017 has proved to cost them as they hang on to Champions League football by their fingertips.

The loss of Sadio Mané has proven to be larger than some may of thought as they have struggled for goals in the past few weeks, with the loss to a struggling Crystal Palace proving to be the kind of result that could ultimately cost them.

They had the perfect opportunity to build on their crucial 1-0 win over Watford when they welcomed the out of form Southampton  to Anfield last Sunday, but once again they drew a blank with the ever reliant James Milner missing from the penalty spot.

Arsenal have capitalised on that with wins over Southampton and the 4-1 victory over Stoke on Saturday evening taking them to just a point behind the Reds, and with their recent record  against the Hammers Klopp's men will have dig deep to widen that breathing space between themselves and the Gunners.

Team news

The big blow for the Hammers will be the continued absence of striker Andy Carroll, the forward will miss opportunity to get one over his former side as a groin injury that has kept him out since the 2-2 draw with Sunderland has come back to haunt him once again.

Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyaté are also the other major absentee's from Bilić starting XI, with both their season's coming to end prematurely with both going for abdominal and wrist operations respectively.

There will be late fitness tests for both Roberto Firmino and Lucas Leiva, while Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana can make a return to Klopp's side as they look to cement that top four finish.

West Ham United will welcome Liverpool to the London Stadium on Sunday, May 14 with kick-off at 2:15pm BST.

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