West Ham United and Liverpool square off in the Premier League on Monday and both the sides will hope to bounce back, after failing to win their last game.
While the Reds were held by Leicester City, West Ham were beaten 3-0 by Wolves in what a dire performance from the Hammers.
Both the teams are attack heavy, and Liverpool’s injury problems at the back mean they aren’t as solid defensively as they were in the first half of the season.
Ahead of the game, here are a few statistical points that might have a bearing on the game.
West Ham’s superior aerial duels percentage
The Hammers have a slightly taller team than the Reds, and have an average height of 182.8 cm compared to Liverpool who average 181 cm.
It’s no surprise, hence, that West Ham have won 55% of their aerial duels this season while Liverpool have won exactly half; 50%.
With Andy Carroll in line to play come Monday, that number might increase for West Ham.
Liverpool’s set-piece threat
You would think that with the skilful players Liverpool have, a lot of their goals would have come from open play. But, the Reds have scored 14 goals from set-pieces this season, compared to West Ham’s meagre four goals.
That’s right; Manuel Pellegrini really has gotten rid of the reliance on dead-ball situations for goals, hasn’t he?
Liverpool have also scored five goals from the penalty spot compared to West Ham’s one, and that’s where Mohamed Salah has been a nuisance as he has made most of the opposition challenges in the penalty box.
The West Ham defenders need to avoid even the smallest of contacts on him unless they are sure they can win the ball.
West Ham might have a superior aerial duels win percentage, but when it comes to movement in the box to score goals from set-pieces, Liverpool are pretty smart.
Counter-attacks – An end to end game?
The two teams have impressive wingers and are pretty good on the break. Liverpool are expected to see more of the ball against the Hammers come Monday, but because of how quickly they move forward, they too are a threat on the break.
West Ham have scored thrice on the counter-attacks this season compared to Liverpool’s five, and Carroll’s hold-up play will be crucial if they are to trouble Jürgen Klopp’s side.
Stats via Whoscored