West Ham and Liverpool have both made impressive starts to the season, but Michail Antonio believes his side will not only win on Sunday but also finish ahead of the Reds come May.
Antonio’s sensational backing of West Ham to finish above Liverpool this season has added fuel to the fire ahead of their clash at Anfield on Sunday.
The Hammers have lost just one of their opening five Premier League matches so far and are five points off the top following impressive wins over the likes of Chelsea and Brighton.
Antonio, who scored in both of those games, says he’s confident of repeating the feat against Liverpool, who he suggested have been riding their luck a little this season.
“I am backing myself over Liverpool. You know what, I think we are going to finish higher than Liverpool this season. I’m putting it out there,” the 33-year-old said on The Footballer’s Football Podcast. “Wolves could’ve run away with it on Saturday. We’ve got them this weekend and it’s a six-pointer. We’ve got them!”
West Ham struggled domestically last season, finishing just six points above the relegation zone, but rounded off the campaign by winning the Europa Conference League.
They’ve had a skip in their step ever since, despite losing Declan Rice to Arsenal over the summer, and have picked up from where they left off in May.
Liverpool, meanwhile, had a something of a turbulent end of season break, unexpectedly losing both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho (and very nearly Mo Salah) to Saudi Pro League clubs and missing out on several primary transfer targets including Jude Bellingham, Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia. But four wins from five league games so far suggests they’ve put their pre-season problems behind them.
Antonio’s confidence ahead of the game at the weekend comes as a particular surprise given West Ham’s recent torrid record against the Reds. In their last 14 games, in a run that stretches back nearly seven years, the east Londoners have won just once – and they haven’t won at Anfield in eight years.
That being said, West Ham have made their best start to a Premier League season since 2005/06, and they haven’t exactly had a kind run of fixtures either. Similarly, Antonio scored the last time he faced Jurgen Klopp’s side back in April.