West Ham United face a tough test this evening away to Premier League giants Liverpool, with the Hammers having won just one of the last 49 meetings between the two sides at Anfield, with that solitary triumph coming back in 2015.
In fact, the east Londoners have only won once in the last 12 top-flight encounters between the two clubs, albeit with that rare win having come last season at the London Stadium, with David Moyes’ men running out deserved 3-2 winners.
That thrilling clash notably saw playmaker Pablo Fornals produce a particularly impactful display against the Merseyside outfit, with it perhaps wise for the Spaniard to once again be unleashed this time around.
The former Villarreal man – who arrived in England on a £24m deal back in 2019 – was heavily involved in the Irons’ opener on that eventful day back in November, with the six-cap gem’s inswinging corner causing all kinds of problems for opposition ‘keeper Alisson, who subsequently turned the ball into his own net.
The Brazil international was almost again undone by another wicked delivery from the West Ham man as Declan Rice struck the crossbar, before Fornals eventually got himself on the scoresheet after sliding his effort past the Reds stopper following a blistering counter-attack, with Trent Alexander-Arnold having earlier dragged the visitors level with a stunning free-kick.
Veteran defender Angelo Ogbonna would then power home from a Jarrod Bowen corner to all but secure the points, with a late Divock Origi strike eventually proving nothing more than a mere consolation.
Moyes and co will likely be looking for a repeat performance this time around, hence the need to introduce Fornals back into the starting XI, with the £22.5m-rated ace boasting an impressive individual record against Jurgen Klopp’s side, with three goals in just six meetings to date – including two strikes at Anfield in previous seasons.
The £65k-per-week man had been resigned to a watching brief on the bench during Sunday’s draw with Southampton, although he remains a “very important” asset for the club, in the words of journalist Paul Brown, with 35 goal involvements in 145 games for the club in all competitions thus far.
The 26-year-old may only have one goal and one assist to his name in 15 appearances across all competitions, although it would be no surprise to see him add to that tally against a club – and a goalkeeper – whom he has regularly tormented.