Liverpool are set to lock horns with the newly revamped squad of West Ham United tomorrow in the Premier League. Both the teams had a busy transfer window, trying to improve their squad.
Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren are expected to miss this game whereas Pellegrini will be looking to hand debuts to a number of players. Alisson, Fabinho and Naby Keita will also be hoping to commence their respective careers in the Premier League.
Here we will take a look at 3 key battles which will shape the outcome of this fixture:
Felipe Anderson vs Andrew Robertson
Felipe Anderson is one of the few players for West Ham who will make their Premier League bow in this opening fixture. The Brazilian is primarily a right-winger and Pellegrini might start off with him in his preferred position despite the presence of Yarmolenko. In such a scenario, he will face Liverpool left-back, Robertson, who had a spectacular last season with the Reds.
Andrew Robertson likes to venture forward but he has to make sure not to leave any unattended space behind him. Robertson has to remain solid and on his toes with the duo of Yarmolenko and Anderson expected to ask questions of him tomorrow.
Roberto Firmino vs Issa Diop
West Ham signed the 21-year-old centre-back, Diop, for a club record fee of £22m. He is expected to pair up with either Ogbonna or Declan Rice at the back. Diop couldn’t have hoped for a tougher debut. He will be facing Liverpool’s famous attacking trident and will have to put on a 10/10 show.
His main job will be to contain Firmino. The Brazilian striker will pose a different sort of challenge to the youngster as he is not a typical number 9.
He likes to drop deeper to collect the ball so that Mane and Salah could come into the picture and utilise the space. Diop needs to be clever enough when closing down the striker.
Jack Wilshere vs Fabinho
A classic midfield battle! Probably the game changer?
Both the players will be making their debuts for their respective teams. Jack Wilshere will be playing as a creative midfielder for his new side and Fabinho will be given the job to shackle him. The England international is hoping to rejuvenate his career after a series of lengthy injury spells and a fine showing against title contenders Liverpool will be the perfect start.
Manuel Pellegrini is an experienced manager and will look to utilize the crafty midfielder. Fabinho should be playing at the base of the midfield, trying to disrupt the rhythm of the opponent. He is taller and stronger than Wilshere and Klopp will hope the Brazilian has a good day in the office.