Sunday, May 14

Daily WHUFC News - 14th May 2017

Preview: West Ham v Liverpool

When and Where?

West Ham United v Liverpool
Premier League
Sunday 14 May 2017, 2.15pm BST
London Stadium

What's the story?

West Ham United's final London Stadium assignment of the season comes on Sunday when Liverpool are the visitors to east London.

The Hammers have picked up seven points from their last three games on their own turf and will be hopeful of extending that good run to ensure their home slate of fixtures ends on a high.

Having claimed the scalp of Tottenham Hotspur last time out, West Ham have their sights on disrupting another team's lofty ambitions this weekend, with Jurgen Klopp's men chasing UEFA Champions League qualification.

With a four-point advantage over Arsenal – who have played a game less – they know three points are required if they are to keep their top four destiny in their own hands.

But West Ham also have their reasons for going after maximum points, with a top ten finish still a distinct possibility.

They have followed a five-game losing run by going unbeaten for their last five, including wins over Tottenham and Swansea, backed up by draws against Sunderland, Everton and Stoke.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have collected ten points from their last five games, but have only scored five goals during that run.

Read how tactical analyst George Elek thinks the game could pan out in the tactician's view here.

Team News

The Hammers will have to do without Andy Carroll again, who is missing with a nagging groin complaint which has kept him out since the trip to Sunderland at Easter.

Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyate have undergone season-ending surgery on abdominal and wrist injuries respectively, meaning Havard Nordtveit and Edimilson Fernandes could be given their chance in midfield.

Arthur Masuaku remains a doubt, while Diafra Sakho (back), Pedro Obiang (ankle) and Michail Antonio (hamstring) are sidelined.

Read the manager's take on the Hammers' team news here.

For Liverpool, Roberto Firmino and Lucas Leiva are doubts due to muscle problems, but Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge are contenders to start after making their way back from injury with substitute appearances.

Player head-to-head

How do I get to the game?

Click here for our Matchday Guide, covering everything from travel routes to catering options and everything inbetween.

Supporters who use London Overground services via Hackney Wick should be aware that trains will not be running on Sunday between Camden Road and Stratford due to engineering work. Replacement buses will run instead.

Greater Anglia services will be running to Stratford, but supporters travelling from the Southend branch will need to take replacement buses as far as Shenfield.

Click here for the latest information on London Underground, London Overground and TfL Rail services. The latest on National Rail services is here.

Sunny intervals are forecast for Sunday, with temperatures reaching 19C (66F) by kick-off.

How can I watch the game?

The match is being broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports. If you're tuning in from overseas, you can check broadcast details in your territory in our handy widget below.

You can also follow all the action as it happens right here on, with live audio commentary, social media updates, in-running stats, pictures and more. Get involved in the conversation on social using #WHULIV.

Fonte's old friends 'enemies' for a day

Jose Fonte relishing Sunday's clash with a Liverpool side containing three former Southampton teammates
Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana all set to feature for Reds at London Stadium
West Ham United defender says Hammers are determined to compete on same level as Liverpool

For the second Premier League fixture in succession, Jose Fonte will shove sentiment aside when he comes up against his former Southampton colleagues.

After helping West Ham United defeat Tottenham Hotspur and ex-Saints Mauricio Pochettino and Toby Alderweireld last Friday, Fonte will face no fewer than three of his old St Mary's allies when the Hammers host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

Alongside Fonte, Reds midfielder Adam Lallana was part of the Southampton squad which secured back-to-back promotions to reach the Premier League in 2012, while right-back Nathaniel Clyne and centre-half Dejan Lovren formed part of a solid defence alongside the Portugal star in 2013/14. A fourth former Saints teammate, Sadio Mane, will miss Sunday's game at London Stadium through injury.

While they were friends on the south coast, Fonte says he will consider his old pals 'enemies' when they visit east London.

"It's always special to see my old teammates, my old friends, as we shared so many good moments together," the defender told the Official Website. "Obviously, it's nice to see them, but during the 90 minutes we're enemies so we want to beat them and they want to beat us.

"It's going to be special, it's going to be good. The atmosphere is going to be buzzing after this last win on Friday. We expect a tough game again, but we want to give the fans something to be proud of and another memorable afternoon."

Obviously, it's nice to see them, but during the 90 minutes we're enemies so we want to beat them and they want to beat us

Jose Fonte
Fonte and Lallana played alongside one another well over 100 times – winning the Football League Trophy together with Michail Antonio in 2010 – between 2010 and 2014, when the England midfielder departed for Liverpool.

The UEFA Euro 2016 winner is a big fan of the creative midfielder, who has become one of the Premier League's top performers in recent seasons.

"We came from League One," he confirmed. "We started from the bottom and went straight up to the Premier League in the same team.

"I've seen the progression of Adam, all the way to the national team as well, so I couldn't be more happy for him because he's a great player. I saw that from the first day I watched him.

"He's very skilful, a very creative player with lots of ability with both feet."

Fonte also has a huge amount of respect for Clyne and Lovren, who he shared a back four with as Southampton finished eighth in the Premier League three years ago.

"Clyney was my main support alongside my right, with his speed next to me!" the 33-year-old smiled. "Then Lovren, you know, we had a great partnership and we were best friends outside the pitch also.

"We still maintain a good relationship and I walk with him frequently and when it clicks, it's easy. We had a great season together, had one of the best defences in the league and he has done an amazing job.

"He had a difficult first season, but now you can see why they got him, because without him Liverpool would be struggling a little bit, in my opinion.

"I was lucky to have played with these great players and I learned a lot from them as well."

While Liverpool have not won the title since 1990, Fonte still believes the visit of the Reds is among the biggest games of the season for any Premier League club.

"It's because of the history, isn't it?" he asked, rhetorically. "Because of all of the past and all of the fans, Liverpool will always be a big club and we want to compete against them.

"We're a big club as well, so we expect an exciting game."

Heineken Bar grand opening

West Ham United's official partner Heineken is pleased to announce the opening of the new Heineken Bar situated behind the North scoreboard.

The bar has been designed to reflect the striking architecture of West Ham's new home at London Stadium and will bring a unique space to enjoy a perfectly poured Heineken beer with your friends or family.

Heineken and West Ham are committed to improving the matchday experience of all our fans, and the Heineken Bar will bring yet more world-class facilities to the stadium.

The Heineken Bar will be officially opened on Sunday 14 May before the last home game of the season against Liverpool, by West Ham United Legends Tony Cottee and Tony Gale. Fans attending the game on Sunday are invited to come to the bar from 12.45pm to enjoy the first drinks poured at the bar as well as to join in a Q&A with both ex-players.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic targets Liverpool scalp with Premier League survival assured
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 13/05/17 1:54pm

West Ham have already spoiled Tottenham's season and now Slaven Bilic has his sights set on ruining Liverpool's.

Spurs saw their title hopes dashed when they were beaten 1-0 by the Hammers at the London Stadium last week.

Next up for Bilic's side is a visit from Liverpool - live on Sky Sports - with Jurgen Klopp's side desperately needing a win to keep their Champions League qualification bid on track.
West Ham are now safe from relegation and are unbeaten in five matches, with boss Bilic now targeting back-to-back top-four scalps.

"It's a big game for us, of course, we want to continue our form," he said. "Results-wise it's even bigger for them because they have to win to keep it in their hands.

"But we don't care about their wishes or what aims they have. I am really expecting a big game for us with the same kind of adrenaline and motivation as it was against Spurs.

"I know it's going to be very hard because Spurs was a bit different, but I've told the players already 'it's Liverpool at home, it's our last home game of the season - it can't be any bigger'.

"If you are playing Liverpool in front of 60,000 people it's the best situation, and now we can switch off the radios - we don't have to watch the Saturday games praying or hoping or with a Rosary in our hands.

"That's a positive thing, if we are comparing the game against Spurs. Now we are relaxed - and not in a negative way - I am expecting us to be even better than we were against Spurs.
Liverpool have been in and around the top four all season, but with Manchester City and Arsenal on their tails, one of the big guns will have to miss out.

Reds skipper James Milner this week admitted he would feel 'sick' if Liverpool ultimately failed to qualify for the Champions League and Bilic acknowledged the pressure their opponents are under.

"Every league is difficult but here you have maybe six clubs that are expecting to win the title and for them not to get in the Champions League, it's a failure of course," he added. "But one of them will not make it. So for Liverpool, I don't know their media, their expectations or whatever, but they are a big club and they have been up there for the whole season. "I think they will be very disappointed if they don't make it - but then if they do make it they will definitely present it as a massive achievement, which it is, in this kind of league."

West Ham eye Jermain Defoe and Che Adams transfers as Slaven Bilic says he wants 'difference makers'
The Hammers' boss is not content with their current spoilers role and is after signings who can help win trophies
The Mirror
22:30, 13 MAY 2017

Slaven Bilic is devising a summer strategy that he hopes will bring a trophy to West Ham and give the supporters more to celebrate than spoiling the dreams of others.

The fans celebrated long and hard last weekend, when a 1-0 win at the London Stadium effectively sabotaged Tottenham's title hopes.

And a home win over Liverpool on Sunday afternoon would put a huge dent in the Merseyside club's chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League and the return of Champions League football that would bring.

But Bilic wants more than inflicting pain on the opposition.

He wants silverware for the Hammers — and Sunderland's England striker Jermain Defoe is top of his hit-list of targets.

A clause in his contract with the Wearsiders ensures their relegation means Defoe will be a free agent this summer — and he is a target for a host of clubs, even though he turns 35 in October.

However, Bilic believes the forward's West Ham roots — he was a Hammer for almost five years before a 2004 move to Tottenham — could play a part in landing his man.

"Defoe is a very interesting player – even those big clubs are thinking about him as back-up," said Bilic. "But this is home."

Birmingham striker Che Adams, 20, is also being checked by the Hammers, and Bilic said: "We've got to get players who can make a difference."

There may also be a longer contract Argentine forward Manuel Lanzini, with the West Ham boss adding: "It is a message to our players. We have a chairman who says: 'Show me, and I will give you a contract.'"


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