West Ham United play their first competitive game of the 2018-19 season under their new boss Manuel Pellegrini and their very first challenge will be to walk out of Anfield with atleast a single point.
Liverpool have been tipped to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title by a number of people and Pellegrini will know for sure that going to Anfield and picking up a win will not be a piece of cake.
Liverpool do have a number of absentees for their opening encounter which does make life a bit easier for the Hammers but the flip side of the coin is that Jurgen Klopp has a very fit attacking unit.
Players like Daniel Sturridge, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have all been deemed fit to take on West Ham on Sunday and the London outfit will have to ensure that their defence does not crumble under pressure.
While the likes of Mane and Firmino will pose a substantial threat for the Hammers backline there’s no denying that Mo Salah will be the one who can inflict the most damage – if left unchecked.
So before the game, a number of people have claimed that Manuel Pellegrini to use the famed Jose Mourinho tactic of keeping a watchdog for Mo Salah while he is on the field.
Mourinho in the past has used one midfielder to ensure that a top-rated opponent does not get to dominate the game and fans, as well as some pundits, feel that Pellegrini should also walk the same way.
And this question of stopping Mo Salah on Sunday was thrown at the Hammers boss during a press conference to which he replied,
“We don’t have any special plans just for him because it would be easier if Liverpool were just Mo Salah, but they aren’t. They have Firmino, Mane, Shaqiri.
“But Salah is a great player and we all saw what he did last season.”
Mo Salah won the Golden Boot last season after ending the campaign with 32 goals and this season a number of people feel that the Egyptian will not be able to have the same kind of impact because most of the managers have figured out how to put the reigns on the winger.
But if you look at Liverpool’s overall attacking line-up then they will surely cause the West Ham defence a number of problems and the only way that the London outfit can come out of the game with anything is if they use their counter-attacking opportunities wisely.
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