West Ham vs Liverpool Odds & Prediction: Hammers to Keep It Close?
Zac Goodwin/Getty. Pictured: West Ham United.
- Liverpool and West Ham meet in a Wednesday afternoon EPL matchup.
- The Reds enter as favorites in this one, but Anthony Dabbundo thinks the Hammers can keep it close.
- Check out Dabbundo's full betting preview for Liverpool vs West Ham below.
West Ham vs Liverpool Odds
West Ham Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-175 / +137)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-188 / +137)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Liverpool has a new tactical wrinkle that’s led to nine goals and a pair of league wins in the past two games. The Reds will face their toughest test of the three-match run on Wednesday night as they travel to take on West Ham. The Hammers focus is more on Europe as they’re in the Europa Conference League semifinal and safe from relegation, but David Moyes’ side has been finally getting the deserved victories for their solid underlying performances.
West Ham lost at Anfield, 1-0, in the only meeting between the two sides, but the match was relatively even on chances created. West Ham has a top half defense and the exact kind of direct attacking style needed to trouble the Reds and take at least a point.
Despite its attacking struggles at various points of the season, West Ham has remained a marginally above average Premier League team all year. They flirted with the relegation places early in the year, but the betting market and underlying metrics never saw them as anything close to a bottom-three or bottom-five team. One major reason for that is West Ham’s defense, which is fifth in non-penalty xG allowed and sixth in big scoring chances conceded.
The passive, defense-first approach has paid off. They’re going to let Liverpool have the majority of the possession — West Ham is just 18th in passes per defensive action, 14th in high turnovers and 14th in field tilt. But when the Hammers do win the ball or turn over Liverpool, they rank in the top five in direct attacking speed.
West Ham’s midfield duo of Declan Rice and Lucas Paqueta also has more than enough ball winning and ball progression to compete with and even pass through Liverpool’s midfield. Rice is in the top 10th percentile in both progressive carries and interceptions in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
Liverpool may have found a new wrinkle by moving Trent Alexander-Arnold into a more central midfield role to hide him defensively and make up for his potential shortcomings, but that didn’t stop the Reds from conceding 1.5 xGA at Leeds less than two weeks ago. The Peacocks, like Forest, Bournemouth, Brentford and West Ham, are top five in direct attacking speed and frequency.
The Reds didn’t concede a ton of chances to Nottingham Forest, but their own net rippled twice. Liverpool’s defense isn’t going to be fixed by a minor tactical tweak. Liverpool’s defense is in the bottom half of the league in xG allowed per match on the road this season.
The Reds have also allowed the fifth-most big scoring chances in the league. That’s a bit unfortunate given the rest of their underlying numbers, but it’s the result of the high-risk, high-reward pressing style of Jurgen Klopp’s system. On the road, it’s been especially difficult to tilt the field on opponents and overwhelm them with energy and pressure.
West Ham vs Liverpool Pick
Liverpool has won two consecutive matches and scored nine goals in those victories, but the defensive issues remain for Klopp’s side. The Reds have struggled against teams that can hit them in direct and fast-paced transitions, and they’ve had problems defending set pieces for large parts of the season. That’s two areas where West Ham is quite strong. The Hammers rank in the top five in direct attack speed rate and don’t really use a ton of possession or build-up play. West Ham is also top six in xG per set piece in attack.
Those two edges make Liverpool vulnerable defensively and thus overvalued as a -120 moneyline road favorite. West Ham has been better than its results and a positive regression candidate for large parts of the season.
My projections make Liverpool +120 to win this match and I’d bet the Hammers to get a result at home at -115 or better.
Pick: West Ham +0.5 (-115 or Better)
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