Liverpool host Slaven Bilic's West Ham United at the weekend.
Liverpool’s fourth game of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign sees Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United visit Anfield coming off the back of two disappointing home defeats.
The Reds, in contrast, have started the season well with three consecutive clean sheets and seven points, with their last outing being Monday’s entertaining 0-0 draw at Arsenal.
Despite the Hammers’ poor start, they did manage a 2-0 opening day win at Arsenal and stifled their opponents with a narrow midfield, something Brendan Rodgers must take into consideration.
After three clean sheets on the spin, there is no reason for Liverpool to change their back five for the visit of West Ham, despite players like Alberto Moreno and Mamadou Sakho itching for games.
Full-backs Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne have an abundance of pace and, with the freedom to push forward, they will be counted upon to provide an extra attacking outlet.
Rodgers has an interesting call to make in midfield, especially after the fine performances of both Emre Can, in a more advanced role, and Lucas Leiva at the Emirates.
While the Merseysiders don’t need to be so defensive and compact in the middle, West Ham pose a great threat in Dimitri Payet and he will look to play between the lines and centrally behind the strikers.
With Jordan Henderson expected to be fit, it’s perhaps a good opportunity to play Can in his preferred defensive midfield role and task him with the job of containing the visitors’ biggest threat.
It’s harsh to leave out Leiva after his excellent game at the Emirates, but he’s arguably better suited to away matches where he can just sit in front of the back four and provide the necessary protection.
Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho were brilliant against Arsenal, especially the latter as he cut in from the left and caused the hosts all sorts of problems.
They simply have to start again on Saturday and with the help of their full-backs getting forward, the Brazilian duo could have the perfect decoys to move inside and really hurt their opponents.
Christian Benteke’s strength and aerial ability provides another weapon, and up against a fragile backline he will get plenty of chances to add to the opening Anfield goal he netted against Bournemouth.