Paul Ince believes that West Ham United will be powerless to overcome Liverpool when the two sides meet in the Premier League at the London Stadium on Saturday evening.
The boyhood Hammers fan, who played for the club between 1986 and 1989, has plumped for a 3-1 win for the Reds, who he also represented during a glittering 21-year career.
“That was a much-needed [3-0] win for Liverpool against Huddersfield last week, as people had really started to ask a lot of questions about them,” Ince told the Daily Express.
“This week, I reckon they’ll follow that up with another relatively straight-forward win over West Ham.
“Though I do find it really tough to back their defence not to concede.”
Whilst the Merseysiders come into this one on the back of two straight 3-0 triumphs, the Irons will be keen to take all three points and banish the memories of last weekend’s frustrating draw with Crystal Palace.
Slaven Bilic’s side led 2-0 at half-time at Selhurst Park, but were pegged back by a Luka Milivojevic penalty and a last-gasp equaliser from Wilfried Zaha seven minutes into injury time.
However, there were some positives to take from a resilient display that was undermined by naivety at the death with the match all but won.
No such mistakes can be afforded on Saturday against a Liverpool side who are looking back to somewhere near their clinical best after a poor run of form.
Bilic will no doubt be targeting the notoriously leaky Reds backline and will hope that Javier Hernandez and Andre Ayew, both of whom got on the scoresheet last time out, are again fit and firing.
This clash features two teams who have struggled for consistency so far this term and the winner may well be determined by whose key players show up on the day.