Michail Antonio caused a bit of a stir in recent days when claiming that West Ham would finish above Liverpool this season, and one of his teammates has now responded to that grandiose message.
The Irons attacker told The Footballer’s Football Show podcast that he can see his team looking down at the Reds in the final reckoning, having been less than impressed with how Jurgen Klopp’s side performed at Wolves last weekend.
Ahead of today’s clash between the two Europa League competitors at Anfield, the Jamaican’s club colleague Tomas Soucek has implored the 33-year-old to now go and back up his ambitious claim.
As per The Mirror, the Czech midfielder said: “Micky does lots of interviews that are funny and we just laugh about it!
“It’s great that he has this show but in terms of what he is saying, it’s something we need to follow through. If it ends up being true I will be very happy but he needs to score many goals to get us ahead of Liverpool.”
We don’t fault Antonio for ambition and confidence, that’s for sure, but his West Ham teammates and manager mightn’t be thanking him for such a publicly bold statement in the days leading up to their clash against Liverpool.
His comments are sure to have served as added motivation for the Reds to land a direct blow on the east Londoners this afternoon and make the 33-year-old regret what he said earlier in the week.
The Irons have enjoyed a strong start to the season and defeated Klopp’s side at the London Stadium a couple of years ago, but finishing ahead of the Merseysiders next May would require them to either be exceptionally good or for us to fall away considerably.
Antonio could certainly trouble us today, having scored against us five times in the past and netted twice already in the early weeks of the campaign (Transfermarkt), but Liverpool are set to welcome back Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate to their defence in the Premier League after their recent absences.
The Jamaica international has talked the talk. The Reds’ mission today is to ensure that he doesn’t manage to walk the walk.