West Ham V Liverpool - Opta Preview

West Ham United Upton Park Saturday 29th December Liverpool 19 Games18  ATTACKING 24 Goals scored28 1.26 Ave goals per game1.56 44% Shooting Accuracy45% 11% Goals to shots %14%  PASSING 6,998 Passes8,020 74% Pass completion %77%  DEFENDING 72% Tackle success rate %74% 30 Goals conceded18 1.58 Ave goals conceded per game1.00  DISCIPLINE 325 Fouls246 37 Yellow cards24 2 Red cards3 7,885 Opta Index Score10,907
West Ham United v Liverpool

Both West Ham and Liverpool enjoyed victories on Boxing Day and will come into this fixture with confidence and great heart. The Hammers fans were treated to a stunning strike from Trevor Sinclair in their 4-0 demolition of Derby County, their sixth match without defeat. Many of the supporters have been scathing about the former QPR man's decision to request a transfer but it was a grudge-breaking goal.

Liverpool experienced a much tighter game at Villa Park, eventally running out 2-1 winners, thanks to goals from Jari Litmanen and Vladimir Smicer. It was a vital win for the championship hopefuls but there will be some fear about facing a London club on Saturday after the recent reversals at the hands of Chelsea and Arsenal.

This fear may escalate into blind panic when Koppites realise that they have not seen Liverpool win at Upton Park since 1996 when goals from Stan Collymore and Michael Thomas were good enough to secure three points. But Liverpool's latest signing - French striker Nicolas Anelka - reminds many at Anfield of Collymore, and the former Arsenal player is 6/1 to score the opening goal with surreySPORTS.

West Ham have conceded fewer goals at home than any other team in the Premiership, and with Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Paolo Di Canio and Trevor Sinclair all in fine form, this game is likely to prove just as tough for the visitors as any of their recent contests. But only Arsenal and Newcastle have won as many away games as Liverpool so the game is sure to be very close.

Michael Owen is still stuck on 99 goals for Liverpool, one shy of the landmark 100, and if you fancy the newly crowned European Footballer of the Year to finally achieve his aim in East London then surreySPORTS are offering odds of 10/11 for a goal at anytime.

A win for West Ham could see them climb into the top half of the Premiership table, something that would be of great personal pleasure to Glenn Roeder. The former Watford and Gillingham manager suffered great criticism at the hands of the press and certain West Ham supporters when he was appointed. But he has given the team s defined shape and their recent performances against some of the best teams in the league suggest a bright future for the club.

There will be no better test than playing Liverpool - particularly now that midfield lynchpin Dietmar Hamann is back in the side. His recent three match suspension saw the Merseysiders garner just one point. If anyone doubted his importance to the side before they will have surely seen the light now.

Duncan Alexander

Match referee: R. Styles

Rob Styles takes charge of his 10th game of the season having dished out 41 yellow cards and one red so far. No-one has awarded more penalties than the Waterlooville referee, so expect some theatrics from Di Canio, Owen et al.

Referee's Name  FoulsPenaltiesYellow CardsRed CardsAve Disc pointsR. Styles 280 5 41 1 47.11

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Match ResultWest Ham9/4Draw9/4LiverpoolevensCorrect ScoreWest Ham 1-08/1West Ham 2-012/1West Ham 2-111/1West Ham 3-033/1West Ham 3-128/1West Ham 3-228/1West Ham 4-0100/1West Ham 4-1100/1West Ham 4-2100/1West Ham 5-0100/1Draw 0-08/1Draw 1-111/2Draw 2-214/1Draw 3-350/1Liverpool 1-06/1Liverpool 2-015/2Liverpool 2-17/1Liverpool 3-014/1Liverpool 3-114/1Liverpool 3-225/1Liverpool 4-040/1Liverpool 4-133/1Liverpool 4-250/1Liverpool 5-0100/1Liverpool 5-1100/1Double ResultWest Ham/West Ham5/1West Ham/Draw16/1West Ham/Liverpool25/1Draw/West Ham6/1Draw/Draw7/2Draw/Liverpool4/1Liverpool/West Ham33/1Liverpool/Draw16/1Liverpool/Liverpool12/5First Goalscorer Kanoute7/1Kitson8/1Defoe8/1Todorov9/1Hutchinson10/1Cole14/1Sinclair14/1Carrick16/1Courtois25/1Lomas25/1Moncur33/1Repka40/1Schmemel40/1Dailly40/1Minto50/1Foxe50/1Winterburn50/1No Goalscorer8/1Owen7/2Heskey5/1Litmanen5/1Anelka6/1Baros7/1Smicer12/1Berger12/1Murphy14/1Gerrard14/1McAllister14/1Riise16/1Biscan20/1Hamann20/1Redknapp20/1Hyypia25/1Wright40/1Henchoz50/1Carragher66/1

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By Road:

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