Soucek tells Antonio he ‘needs to score many goals’ to realise his prediction of finishing above Liverpool

Tomas Soucek has told West Ham team-mate Michail Antonio that he will need to score plenty of goals if his prediction that they will finish above Liverpool is to come true.

Antonio told the Footballer’s Football Podcast with Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson that he thinks the Hammers will finish above Jurgen Klopp’s Reds this season, who they will face at Anfield this afternoon.

West Ham have enjoyed a fine start to the season, losing just one of their opening five Premier League games – a defeat to reigning champions Manchester City last Saturday.

But Soucek says striker Antonio will need to deliver the goals if they are to come out on top against Liverpool on Sunday and in the final league table.

“Michail has a lot of interviews which are funny, we just laugh about it,” he said.

“If this is true, I will be happy for him but he needs to score many goals to get us ahead of Liverpool.”

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West Ham go into the game having come from behind to avoid a huge upset and beat Serbian side FK TSC Bačka Topola 3-1 in the Europa League on Thursday.

Summer signing Mohammed Kudus scored his first goal for the Hammers on his first start since joining from Ajax, continuing a trend of West Ham’s new additions making impressive starts to life at the club.

Fellow new arrival James Ward-Prowse added another two assists to his tally against FK TSC Bačka Topola, taking his total for the season in all competitions to five in five games along with two goals.

And along with Edson Alvarez who, like Kudus, also arrived from Ajax during the window, Soucek says the quality of squad depth means the Hammers are well placed to improve on last season’s disappointing Premier League campaign despite the loss of star man Declan Rice to Arsenal.

Soucek continued: “The confidence is getting higher and higher with the results. We are happy with the Premier League (results) and we’re very happy we started well in the Europa League.

“This team is a little bit different to what it was before but the quality of players is one of the best that we’ve had. I just hope we prove it.

“Declan was a great player, I loved to play with him but now we have different types of players and it’s a different type of football we play. I’m happy with the squad.

“It’s good that we have options. It’s not only about the top 11 but about the 20 players. We have a great squad now and even if we have a few missing and we make a few changes, we sometimes have even better.

“It’s great to have this squad and it’s the reason why we can be successful.”

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