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Premier League Preview – October 19

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Liverpool vs West Ham United

West Ham never really fancy a trip to Anfield. Just look at the stats.

One win in 56 visits to Anfield. That rare win came in 2015. It’s a truly horrific stat, but David Moyes’ men might just have a better chance of a win than history suggests on Wednesday night.

Liverpool have produced somewhat of a mini revival after smashing Rangers and edging out champions Man City 1-0. In truth, though, Jurgen Klopp’s men had their backs against the wall against City and were fortunate to see Phil Foden’s goal ruled out.

It was a defensive-minded performance which saw City dominate possession (63%) and chances.

Jurgen Klopp’s men certainly showed a different side to win, against arguably the world’s best team. But how much did that sap from their physical and mental states with the Hammers visiting Merseyside just 72 hours later?

Klopp does not have too many options either with Diogo Jota the latest injury casualty. He looks set to name a similar side, but they will have a different approach against West Ham.

The Reds will try to get on the front foot and West Ham may be happy to sit off and wait for their chances. Those chances will come because Liverpool have kept just three clean sheets in their last 13 Premier League games.

Mo Salah’s brilliant goal against City was the difference on Sunday and he is in good form, scoring five in his last four games. He also has a great record against the Hammers, scoring nine times against them in 10 games.

West Ham boss Moyes was furious with the 1-1 draw at Southampton last time out after Peter Bankes got in the way of Jarrod Bowen at St Mary’s.

“How have we not got three points?” said Moyes. “The real reason is the referee, the referee gets in the way of the ability for us to defend.”

West Ham were much the better side and they have started to get their form together after a slow start.

Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta are starting to form a decent-looking triumvirate and they can cause the hosts problems.

The visitors have managed 60 shots on goal in their last three fixtures and no team has had more in that time.

Of course Liverpool will ask more questions of West Ham than Wolves, Fulham and Saints did, but Moyes’ men look like a team on the up again.

They are capable of winning at Anfield at a best-priced 13/2, but it might just be safe to take the visitors on the handicap.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United are a team in transition under Erik ten Hag and certainly not a side to pin your hopes on against a top-six rival.

After impressive home wins over Arsenal and Liverpool, you might well have expected another success last time out against improving Newcastle.

A goalless draw ensued, but it was a game which United dominated possession wise. They made a mockery of their average home possession stats (48.8%) and managed a whopping 63%.

Their chances were few and far between, although Ten Hag thought they did enough to win against a Newcastle side who are unbeaten since losing at Liverpool in August.

Spurs will arrive at Old Trafford with more of an attacking threat than Eddie Howe’s men. In fact they have netted in every game this season and that will likely continue on Wednesday night.

Antonio Conte is building a strong side with the focus on efficiency in both boxes. That has led them to third place in the table to date and they have a level of consistency that their hosts are striving for.

Spurs were tough and resilient in the away win at Brighton and they look certain of putting in another similar performance at Old Trafford against a United side who will be without Christian Eriksen.

Bournemouth vs Southampton

On first glance this south-coast derby looks like a home win.

The Cherries are unbeaten in six under caretaker boss Gary O’Neil and generally look like a team on the up. 

Saints on the other hand are winless since the shock home win over Chelsea in August and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side find themselves in the bottom three.

It’s not an unfamiliar position for Hasenhuttl, who has managed to dig his side out of a number of poor spells during his tenure at St Mary’s.

Hasenhuttl knows his side need to get the points against Bournemouth with fixtures against Arsenal and Liverpool looming in the next month.

“You need this maybe one-time or two-time run during a season and this can be the insurance for staying in the league,” said Hasenhuttl.

“We have seen this with us every season where we are at one point flying high, but consistency is the key.”

The experienced coach is well aware of the importance of the game.

“We need every point,” he said after the draw with West Ham. And he can call on a classier squad than Wednesday’s opponents.

Che Adams should cause Bournemouth plenty of problems, while a midfield of James Ward-Prowse, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Joe Aribo look capable of exposing the home side’s backline.

While O’Neil has galvanised Bournemouth since the 9-0 hammering at Liverpool, their home form has not been stand out.

They have had goalless draws with Wolves and Brentford and only squeezed past struggling Leicester 2-1. It’s hardly the form to base a serious punt on a home win.

The bookies are struggling to split them, but it might just be worth siding with the visitors whose desire to win may be greater at The Vitality Stadium.

Key stats

  • Liverpool have won their last five home matches against West Ham in all competitions
  • West Ham have won just once in 56 visits to Liverpool in all competitions
  • There have been under 2.5 goals scored in eight of West Ham’s last 10 PL games
  • Mo Salah has scored nine times against West Ham in just 10 games
  • Man Utd have seen over 2.5 goals in their last five home matches against Tottenham
  • Man Utd have scored at least three  goals in their last three matches vs Tottenham
  • Tottenham are undefeated in 15 of their last 16 PL matches
  • Man Utd have won their last three matches against Tottenham in all competitions
  • Man Utd are undefeated in 12 of their last 13 home PL matches
  • The average number of goals in meetings between Manchester United and Tottenham is 4.2
  • Everton have failed to win 20 of their last 22 away matches
  • Southampton have been losing at both half-time and full-time in five of their last seven away matches
  • Chelsea have scored at least two goals in their last four PL matches

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