Liverpool vs. West Ham
Venue: Anfield stadium
Kick off: 1:30pm
Liverpool begin their Premier League campaign against West Ham United at Anfield this afternoon, with both sides expected to impress this season after splashing the cash in the transfer window.
Jurgen Klopp’s team seem to have recovered from their Champions League final defeat in May with the addition of fresh faces and their scintillating pre-season form, while former Premier League winner Manuel Pellegrini has brought the buzz back to East London after being appointed as David Moyes’s successor.
For the first time in a number of seasons, Liverpool are being tipped as genuine title challengers.
Their squad imbalance has hurt them on many an occasion, not least in the Europa League final against Sevilla and in the defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.
This season, however, Liverpool look different. Sturridge has appeared in all nine pre-season games, scoring six goals and tallying a minutes-per-goal ratio of 61.6, while the addition of Xherdan Shaqiri looks to have given Klopp a duo that can fill in both as impact substitutes, and as starters in the absence of their usual strike force.
The Reds have also recruited in other areas that have lacked quality.
For the first time in a while, Liverpool look to have a strong collective and could well be in the title race come April.
West Ham however go into the new season full of optimism after spending close to £100 millionthis summer, including landing two deadline-day signings and breaking their club transfer record twice.
Overall, Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment was the first of a number of positive changes to West Ham this summer, and the Chilean’s transfer business could set his players up for a top-10 finish, if not higher.
Liverpool possible XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Keita, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Firmino, Salah.
West Ham possible XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Creswell, Sanchez, Noble, Rice, Wilshere, Anderson, Arnautovic.