Race For Fourth Meets Relegation Battle

Sports - November 06, 2007
Will Yossi feature against his old club?...

With the introduction of a stand in chairman this week for Liverpool and the stories all reading that Hicks and Gillett are ready to sell up and move on, there was a very positive feel amongst the fan base.

Don't count your chickens though, with Hicks making suggestions that he will only accept stupid money despite the fact nobody will pay £600mil for a club some £250mil (roughly) in debt, it is not looking as bright as once thought.

However, it is no doubt a step forward, the key thing is though, this time out, our club needs to be handled with dignity and intelligence, no silly mistakes, the correct buyer, somebody with passion and the strive to support the team must be found.

So with all this going on off the pitch, can Liverpool beat West Ham on Monday night and keep themselves in an ever changing race for fourth?

West Ham have failed to win on the road since the opening game of the season when they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0.

Scott Parker will not feature for the Hammers after picking up a collection of yellow cards. All other options for Gianfranco Zola are said to be available.

Last time out Liverpool managed to beat West Ham in a 3-2 goal fest, with Fernando Torres scoring twice.

This time out though Liverpool will be without El Nino after he struggles to recover from a knee injury. With flights being grounded in and out of the UK, a specialist he was due to see has also been unreachable as the race for his fitness continues.

Other injuries include Fabio Aurelio and Emiliano Insua who both have thigh related set backs. To add to the list is Martin Skrtel and Martin Kelly.

Injuries are no excuse but they have plagued Liverpool this season and unfortunately Monday nights game will force Benitez to play the defence again in an unfamiliar set up.

It would be great to see the likes of Aquilani and Maxi both starting tomorrow because not only do they add great movement and spacial awareness but the remnants of their attacking abilities against Fulham were very positive. Without Torres available we need as big a threat as possible in attack because it will be hard to break down a team like West Ham fighting for their lives in the Premier League.

One player from the West Ham side that i would like to highlight is Alessandro Diamanti, he has 7 goals in the league this season for West Ham and appears to be a clever and dangerous player. Liverpool need to be especially careful giving away silly free kicks outside the box, because the Italian will fancy those 100%.

After Spurs beat Chelsea, Aston Villa got the better of Portsmouth and Manchester City lost in the dying minutes to Manchester United, the layout of the teams fighting for 4th has changed slightly.

Liverpool however still find themselves playing the chasers, when Monday nights game has finished, our rivals will all still have a game in hand, making a win realistically the only option should we wish to pursue the Champions League next season.

Our only positive again is that the others around us (on paper) have a much harder run in in the closing stages than ourselves. Crucially though, to be left with any sort of hope, we must rake in the points on our own behalf and then pray that things pan out.