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West Ham vs. Liverpool: ‘Runaway leaders expected to have too much for hapless Hammers’



Liverpool head to West Ham on Wednesday evening (19:45 GMT) looking to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 19 points.

That exact gap is the records points distance between first and second place at the end of a Premier League season, which was set in the 2017/18 campaign when Manchester City gained 100 points, ahead of Manchester United on 81.

A win at the London Stadium would keep an unbeaten Liverpool side in a great position to break both of those records amongst numerous others, as well as winning their first top-flight title for 30 years, of course.

KYIV, UKRAINE – MAY 26, 2018: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool runs during the UEFA Champions League Final 2018 game against Real Madrid at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv. Liverpool lost 1-3

And they are firmly expected to do so against a struggling side with a solitary league win in their last eight home games.

Indeed, the home side are currently only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, so they will be keen to avoid a battering here as any loss by four or more goals would see them drop to 18th.

Liverpool are 1/3 to extend their winning run in the league to 15 matches (three shy of City’s record of 18, also set in their aforementioned 100-point season).

The draw is 4/1, with a much needed home win 7/1.

West Ham are unbeaten in both of David Moyes’ home games since the Scot returned to the club as manager, having beaten Bournemouth 4-0 and drawn 1-1 with Everton.

Liverpool failed to win this fixture last season, too, drawing 1-1 after Michail Antonio cancelled out Sadio Mané’s opener to frustrate the visitors in pursuit of their maiden Premier League title.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Mané’s small hamstring tear will keep him out for at least this match and Southampton at home on Saturday.

The goal-scoring onus on Mohamed Salah will increase in turn, with the Egyptian 21/20 to score anytime here.

Roberto Firmino, whose eight league goals this season have all come away from home, is 13/10, with the same price available for Divock Origi, who may well be Mané’s direct replacement in the starting XI.

Unlike Liverpool, West Ham do have their goalscorer from this fixture last season available, with Antonio passed fit to play. The forward has an astonishingly good record against the Reds, having scored 5 goals in 6 appearances against them. At 11/2 he looks a great price to continue that run; there should be ample space in behind for him to run into.

His strike partner Sebastien Haller is 18/5, with penalty-taking captain Mark Noble 15/2.

I'm a freelance sports journalist who has worked for Goal & Bleacher Report amongst others. Get in touch, you're more than welcome to do so via Twitter.  

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