Ibrahima Konate could be a real weapon for Liverpool against West Ham United today. The 22-year-old is in the mix for a place.
West Ham United are a very interesting team right now. They can attack you in several different ways while being defensively sound.
A lot of that comes from being a very physical team. Michail Antonio is a very hard-working player up top who brings smart runs, strength and pace.
Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice, too, will get forward and cause trouble. West Ham are happy to get crosses into the box to take advantage of that extra presence.
Honestly, they’re not too dissimilar to Liverpool in how West Ham will vary their attack. On Sunday, though, we expect they’ll really lean into that physicality.
After all, they’re unlikely to have much of the ball and short passing moves don’t typically work against Liverpool. Teams simply don’t get the time to do them.
The Reds press high and force teams into going long. Brighton managed to avoid that with their own press but we’re not sure West Ham will.
Instead, they’ll look to their full-backs for crosses or play balls for Antonio to work with. And that’s why Ibrahima Konate might be the right player to face West Ham.
Ibrahima Konate for Liverpool vs West Ham?
We saw Konate come in against Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side was another that Liverpool pressed like mad and forced into longer passes.
Konate thrived in that environment. He’s a big, quick, physical player and one who excels at sweeping up those long balls.
He picked up 14 at Old Trafford – twice that of Virgil van Dijk and the most in the game. We think Konate could do something similar against West Ham.
His height and presence is a great counter against West Ham’s crossing, too. Again, that could really trouble Moyes’s team.
Konate struggled a bit aginst a more inventive Brighton but against West Ham and their more versatile attack? We think he might be the right defensive choice.
That’s not to say that Joel Matip wouldn’t cope fine. But with Konate’s skillset, Klopp might find this to be another ideal game to give the 22-year-old more minutes.
West Ham won’t expect him – much like United didn’t – and perhaps that adds another bonus. It makes quite a bit of sense to make this Konate’s fourth Premier League start.