DEFENSIVE RESILIENCE

Liverpool defence face the ultimate test against Hammers

Impressive as matches wear on, the Hammers have scored five goals after the 80th minute across their last four league matches.

In Summary

• Though unbeaten in 62 home league matches, Liverpool showed signs of weariness in their last outing against Midtjylland, failing to register a first-half shot on goal for the first time in 51 home matches in all competitions. 

• Additionally, Sheffield United took just one home point from nine against last season’s eventual top-three with every goal conceded arriving between the 70th and 79th minutes of play.

 

Midtjylland's Sory Kaba in action with Liverpool's Takumi Minamino
Midtjylland's Sory Kaba in action with Liverpool's Takumi Minamino
Image: /reuters

Liverpool vs West Ham Saturday 8:30 pm

Victorious in three straight home league games against West Ham, while scoring three goals per match on average, Liverpool are four matches unbeaten across all competitions, winning three and drawing one. Questions about their defensive resilience without Virgil van Dijk have been temporarily quieted after two clean sheets across their last three matches.

Though unbeaten in 62 home league matches, Liverpool showed signs of weariness in their last outing against Midtjylland, failing to register a first-half shot on goal for the first time in 51 home matches in all competitions. That said, Liverpool have won three straight home league assignments this season while scoring three goals on average.

West Ham, meanwhile, held Manchester City to a draw in the last round, extending their unbeaten league run to four matches, winning two and drawing two, giving them hope of a first Premier League win against Liverpool in nine attempts. Impressive as matches wear on, the Hammers have scored five goals after the 80th minute across their last four league matches.

Away from home, results have been mixed for West Ham this season. Goals have been a consistent theme, as their four away matches have averaged four total goals with all four witnessing at least three. The total goals output across their last four league visits to Liverpool stands close, at 4.5 on average.

 

Head to Head

24.02.20 PL Liverpool West Ham 3: 2

29.01.20 PL West Ham Liverpool 0: 2

04.02.19 PL West Ham Liverpool 1: 1

12.08.18 PL Liverpool West Ham 4 : 0

24.02.18 PL Liverpool West Ham 4: 1

 

FC Koln vs Bayern Munich Saturday 5:30 pm

Winless in 15 Bundesliga matches and without a clean sheet in 16, there looks to be no respite for Cologne as they take on the division’s highest scorers in Bayern. Having lost all but one of the last 12 head to heads — nine by at least a two-goal margin — it looks highly unlikely Cologne will register their first home win since February.

However, it’s possible they could still score, considering all eight of Cologne’s Bundesliga home games since that last victory witnessed both teams find the net. Worryingly, three of this season’s matches saw Cologne concede the opening goal and trail at HT, whilst two saw them concede in both halves.

Although Bayern have won 80 per cent of their Bundesliga games so far, eight goals conceded ahead of this round is more than nine other teams, and only once since 1978/79 have they conceded more goals at this stage. Still, their unmatched fire-power has seen them lead at half-time and score in both halves in all four wins so far.

Head to head

16.02.20 BUN FC Koln Bayern Munich 1 : 4

21.09.19 BUN Bayern Munich FC Koln 4 : 0

05.05.18 BUN FC Koln Bayern Munich 1 : 3

13.12.17 BUN Bayern Munich FC Koln 1 : 0

04.03.17 BUN FC Koln Bayern Munich 0 : 3

 

 

 

Sheffield vs Manchester City  Saturday 3:30 pm

Sheffield United are still without a league win and currently sport the worst average goal return per match (0.5) of any side to have played at least six Premier League fixtures. Despite this, four of their five league defeats this season have come by a single-goal margin, while six of their last seven conceded Premier League goals have arrived after the break.

The Blades also lost both head-to-heads last season without finding the net, conceding all three goals across those matches in the second half. Additionally, Sheffield United took just one home point from nine against last season’s eventual top-three with every goal conceded arriving between the 70th and 79th minutes of play.

Manchester City, meanwhile, have recovered from their record-breaking 5-2 defeat against Leicester by going six matches unbeaten in all competitions, keeping a clean sheet in three of the four wins and scoring two goals on average. They’ve been ahead at HT in four of their last six matches in all competitions, and in three of five PL matches so far.

Away, City are unbeaten in all competitions this season, but have been held to 1-1 draws in back-to-back away PL matches that featured precisely one goal in all halves and saw no goals scored past the hour mark. City have averaged 2 goals scored per match across their last ten competitive away fixtures.

Head to Head

1.01.20 PL Sheffield Utd Vs Man City 0: 1

29.12.19 PL Man City Vs Sheffield Utd 2 : 0

27.01.08 FAC Sheffield Utd Vs Man City2: 1

26.12.06 PL Sheffield Utd Vs Man City 0: 1

14.10.06 PL Man City Vs Sheffield Utd 0 : 0