Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Player Ratings: Liverpool vs West Ham - August 12th 2018

Jack Wilshere Arsenal Liverpool team news: Alisson set for debut against West Ham United
Adrian Cunningham | 12 August, 2018, 22:19

Liverpool handed a debut to two of their summer signings, Alisson Becker and Naby Keita.

Klopp is yet to win any silverware at Liverpool despite reaching the finals of the 2016 League Cup and Europa League and last season's Champions League, believes Liverpool need some good fortune.

The wait is over as the Premier League's newest edition has got underway.

In fact, there weren't too many stats supporting a West Ham victory ahead of the match.

The Lyon midfielder would be the cherry on top of the cake of Liverpool's transfer window and has the potential to be one of the savviest bits of business the club has done all summer.

Salah and Mane's pain at worldwide level was Liverpool's gain as early exits at the World Cup with Egypt and Senegal meant they could join the club's pre-season tour of the United States, unlike a host of Premier League stars who returned to training just last week after their exertions in Russian Federation. However, in the following round, they crashed out to struggling West Brom - much to the anger of Liverpool fans. "They are the best teams in the world and Liverpool is also one of them".

As assured a Premier League debut as you are likely to see, Keita dominated the middle of the park and did not allow the West Ham midfielders to impose their game on this strong Liverpool side. The arrivals of Fabinho, Keita, and Shaqiri have given Jurgen Klopp several prospects to rotate and implement a number of strategies in the central of the park.

"The after that a clear offside goal decided the game and they had a lot of confidence to play at 4-0".

The Reds now have a team that can be genuine title contenders this season, and it would be far from a travesty if they failed to sign anyone else before tonight's deadline.

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The rule also says if players decide to go on the field for the anthem, they must stand or they could be fined. Team owner Stephen Ross has said he would like his players to stand for the anthem.

Mane scored in the Champions League final, both legs of the semi against Roma and the 3-0 home leg of the quarter-final v Man City so he's a massive part of Liverpool's lethal front trident.

However, the World Cup hangover effect could help Klopp get the early-season edge on some of his fiercest Premier League rivals.

There are more hard things to accept in life [but] it's August and September and then we start playing three games in a week and then we don't have that problem any more pretty quickly.

"New players have integrated well, the young players have stepped up, and the existing players have shown they are focused on making sure the next step is a forward stride".

At the same time, I think many of us are wary of the time it may take for our players to gel and for Pellegrini's style of play to be instilled into our side.

On 88 minutes, when Daniel Sturridge made it four with his first touch against West Ham, the stadium erupted again to revel in the mastery.

West Ham's race, for the day at least, was clearly run.

If their fortunes improve as much as the squad has then the pre-season title-challenge optimism may well be justified.