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Chalkiest ML and Highest Total in Matchday 1 as Liverpool Hosts West Ham

Coming off a solid Premier League campaign and a Champions League run that saw it reach the final, Liverpool opens its 2018-19 Premier League season against a re-armed West Ham side at Anfield on Sunday.

Oddsmakers have the Reds at -425 in moneyline markets with the Hammers +1100 and the draw at +525 with the hosts at -2 (+120) in spread markets and the total at 3.5.

Liverpool is no stranger to high-scoring games and crushed West Ham in both fixtures last season. Furthermore, Liverpool has seen tons of goals in Matchday 1 games the past couple of seasons with 3-3 versus Watford last season and a 4-3 win versus Arsenal two seasons ago. But what should bettors expect versus the Hammers?

Let’s take a look at this Sunday fixture.

  • Liverpool has scored four goals in each of the last three Premier League games versus West Ham.
  • Mohamed Salah scored in both matches versus West Ham last season.
  • West Ham spent £92.6 million in the summer transfer window; fifth-highest in the league.

View Liverpool vs West Ham Matchup Page

Liverpool Scoring With Ease Against West Ham

If you’re looking for a solid over play this weekend, considering the way Liverpool has treated West Ham in recent meetings, this could be the one.

The total here is tabbed at 3.5 for a reason. Liverpool alone has scored four goals in each of the last three Premier League meetings with OVER 3.5 cashing in each of the last four league meetings between these two clubs.

The Reds won 4-1 in both games last season, 4-0 away to West Ham in 2016-17 and the pair drew 2-2 at Anfield that same season. Goals are not foreign when these two clash. Furthermore, that back line for the Hammers could very well be ripe for the picking if we get the universally-feared trio of Mohamed Salah (more on him in a second), Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane starting up top in the attacking trident.

West Ham conceded 68 times last season, good enough for joint-worst in the league alongside relegated Stoke City. They have brought in defensive reinforcements in the likes of center back Issa Diop (big, powerful, but young) and keeper Lukasz Fabianski, but this is a group that will need time to settle into some consistency.

The biggest shock of the opening weekend will be if this a drab, low-scoring affair. There will be goals here and OVER 3.5 at +115 wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Salah Anytime: Always a Worthy Wager

File this under “duh, Andrew”, but Salah to score anytime could be as close to a lock as you can get. It’s chalky at -175, but the Egyptian’s eyes must light up when he sees West Ham on the schedule.

As mentioned, Liverpool beat the Hammers 4-1 in both meetings last season and Salah scored three of those eight goals. Yes, Salah had 32 goals en route to top-goalscorer honors in the Premier League, so he did score in bunches against a handful of teams. But only the five (!) he scored against Watford in two meetings last season trump the three he bagged against West Ham. NOTE: he also scored three against Southampton, Leicester and Spurs in 2017-18.

Oh, and Salah banged home a goal against Watford in Matchday 1 of the 2017-18 season and scored in Matchday 1 for Roma against Udinese in the 2016-17 campaign so maybe he just likes to start out cashing these anytime wagers.

Hammers Nailing Down a Decent Squad

We all know the Premier is flush with cash so spending money during the window is commonplace. It should come as no surprise that Liverpool spent the most £170.8 million and Chelsea spent the next most at £122 million, but with Fulham (£110M), Leicester (£101.5M) and, yes, West Ham (£92.6M) rounding out the top five, that should come as a surprise.

The Hammers brought in some excellent players in Felipe Anderson (Lazio), the aforementioned Diop (Toulouse), Andriy Yarmolenko (Dortmund), Fabianski (Swansea), Lucas Perez (Arsenal) and a few others including Jack Wilshere on a free from Arsenal to really bolster the squad and make it look more impressive on paper.

While the list of players brought in is impressive, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Manuel Pellegrini has come onboard to manage this side. Pellegrini comes with a pretty impressive resume to his credit having managed the likes of River Plate, Villarreal, Real Madrid and Manchester City. He’s won league titles with River and Manchester City and while it would take a Leicester-esque miracle to win the league with the Hammers, we should see a marked improvement over the 13th-place finish (42 points).

Away to Liverpool is not the ideal to start for any club with a slew of new players and a new manager and it will be interesting to see what Pellegrini does against Jurgen Klopp’s press.

Liverpool is a beast of a side and with that in mind, there are several excellent betting options for this Matchday 1 contest.