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Liverpool v West Ham: Hammers can take advantage of tiring legs

| 29.01.2016

West Ham brought a 52 year wait for a victory at Anfield to an end earlier this season and as they prepare to take on Liverpool in the FA Cup, look in good shape to double up.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds come into the fixture after a gruelling two hour League Cup semi-final against Stoke City, with this fixture being their fourth in the space of 10 days.

While only Simon Mignolet has played every minute of all three matches, the effects on the squad could be telling.

They have come out on top in each of that trio, though have been far from convincing, having to rely on penalties to see off Stoke, having been beaten over 120 minutes, while they conceded four against struggling Norwich.

The hosts sit one place below the Hammers in the Premier League and have lost to them twice already this season.

Despite that, they are priced up as 21/20 favourites, with Slaven Bilic’s side 5/2 underdogs, a price that could offer plenty of value.

The Londoners put a disappointing defeat to Newcastle behind them when twice going in front against Manchester City last weekend before having to settle for a point.

Prior to that Magpies defeat they had won their previous four matches and were unbeaten in nine.

Their 3-0 victory back in August did feature a very different Hammers line-up that will take to the pitch at the weekend, but Bilic’s men are by no means weaker now.

They were without regular goalkeeper Adrian, Alex Song and Enner Valencia that day and the likes of Michail Antonio and Victor Moses had yet to join the club.

Diafra Sakho is one of the players that did feature that day that are absent this time round, but the players that have filled the void up top have done admirably.

The Irons have scored two or more goals in four of their last six matches, including a brace when these sides met on January 2.

They are 2/1 to bag at least a pair again, and with their hosts looking shaky at the back could well just do that.

A 3-0 victory over Exeter in the last round was the only time in six games that Klopp’s men have kept a clean sheet.

Give the likes of the in-form Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia a chance and they could well punish the Reds.

Anyone needing any more encouragement to get stuck into the visitors how about this for a stat: The last time West Ham recorded a league double against Liverpool, they went on to land the FA Cup.

Maybe it’s written in the stars for the east enders.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.