BBC pundit thinks Bilic has sent a message to West Ham's board, predicts Liverpool result

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

Mark Lawrenson is backing Liverpool to beat West ham United 2-0 at Anfield this afternoon.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Liverpool will beat West Ham United 2-0 at Anfield this afternoon.

The Reds will be looking to bounce back from a disastrous afternoon at Bournemouth last weekend, as they led 2-0 and 3-1 before losing 4-3 to a last-gasp goal from Nathan Ake.

Manager Jurgen Klopp will be keen to bounce back immediately with a win this afternoon, but one issue is dominating the build-up to the game – and it isn't the recent injury to Philippe Coutinho.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

Goalkeeper Loris Karius was at fault for two of Bournemouth's goals last weekend, and many are calling for Klopp to take the German out of the side and bring Simon Mignolet back into the starting line-up against a struggling West Ham side.

Slaven Bilic's men were thrashed 5-1 at home to Arsenal last weekend, meaning the Hammers have taken just two points from the last five Premier League games.

Mark LawrensonMark Lawrenson

Swansea's win over Sunderland on Saturday means that West Ham now lie in the relegation zone, and the pressure is mounting on manager Bilic, who accused his own players of lacking intensity in training last weekend.

Bilic needs a result, and he did claim a 3-0 win at Anfield last season, but pundit Mark Lawrenson is backing Liverpool to respond with a 2-0 victory this afternoon.

Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Klopp must start Mignolet ahead of Karius today, and believes West Ham boss Bilic send a message to the club's owners by criticising his own players so strongly.

“When West Ham boss Slaven Bilic said this week that his players lacked intensity in training I think it was a message to the Hammers' owners as well as his squad,” said Lawrenson. “A few of their players were outstanding last season but have not really got going in this campaign. Bilic cannot say to them 'pull your fingers out or I am going to sell you' so he is trying a different approach.”

“I suspect he has tried a few different things already but they have not worked and he has probably been looking at his team and thinking you are not giving me enough - and now he is telling everyone else what he is seeing too.”

“Liverpool's defeat by Bournemouth last week was a blow but I think it will just be a hiccup. Klopp has stuck his neck out with Loris Karius and said you are my number one and I just wonder now if he is privately thinking 'what do I do now?' because Simon Mignolet is a better goalkeeper, no question.”

“I think Klopp has to bring Mignolet back on Sunday and forget about how Karius might lose confidence if he is dropped. He might improve but at the moment he is just not good enough - we saw that against the Cherries,” he added.

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