Sunday 11th December 16.30
In one of the more hilarious results this season, Liverpool managed to throw away a 3-1 lead against Bournemouth to lose 4-3 at the death. Hilarious not because this column holds any animus toward the club but rather because if the last quarter of a century has taught us anything, it’s that Liverpool are truly Shakespearean in their cultural adherence to the tragi-comedy method. Entire teams of players will come and go but their year-on-year ability to reach such extraordinary heights of Monty Python-esque buffoonery is truly praiseworthy.
Re-writing the old script
Happily for Liverpool fans, these episodes are becoming less frequent and last weeks comic turnaround was their only loss in any competition since September. Jurgen Klopp’s team are the most consistent iteration Liverpool fans have seen in some time. The problem is, that loss leaves them four points behind league leaders Chelsea, a team they were above of not too long ago. They need to get back on track.
There was so much hope…
In that regard, they could have hardly have hoped to come up against as poor a team as West Ham. The Hammers are in atrocious form and find themselves in the bottom three as a result. From the extended high of last season to being a point above bottom-placed Sunderland is quite the drop in standards. Don’t forget that they begun the season with a good shout of making the group stages of the Europa League (they were knocked out by Astra), they had managed to retain the services of Dmitri Payet and moved lock, stock and barrel into a massive new stadium, kindly provided to them by the taxpayers of Britain. What a time to be a live for a West Ham fan.
2016 strikes again
They quickly found out that not even they were immune to the foibles of the year that is 2016. Like so many others around the world, their hopes were shown to be a mirage and to be so rudely awoken from such a pleasant dream has not been a happy experience, as evidenced by the amount of unrest which has been witnessed at their new ground, whatever the hell they call it. West Ham were dire in their 5-1 home loss to Arsenal last week and manager, Slaven Bilic, muttered darkly about a lack of intensity in training. It’s never good when a manager says such things, unprompted, in public. The one bright point was that Andy Carroll scored a consolation goal on his return from injury.
The striker, should he start, will be a welcome addition as due to his injury, he should feel unencumbered by the malaise which has infected his team mates and also, being against his old club and their well-documented dislike of crosses into the box, he’ll fancy his chances of scoring. So does this column but we also think that anything West Ham do, Liverpool will do better by which we mean, they’ll outscore them and win. Unsuprisingly, Liverpool are heavy favourites and the prices are short bu the best one that we can find is 3/10 from BetVictor amongst others.