Hammers V Boro

HAMMERS will be looking to return to winning ways this weekend, when Middlesbrough visit Upton Park, and if recent meetings between the two sides are anything to go by, Alan Pardew's team should be full of confidence.

The last three encounters at the Boleyn Ground have all ended 1-0 to West Ham, and they have only lost once at home to Boro' since the Premiership began - ex-Hammer Brian Deane, was the only scorer in 2000.

In the penultimate home fixture of the season, in 2003, Trevor Sinclair scored his final Hammers goal with 13 minutes remaining, to give Glenn Roeder's side three points and a lifeline in their battle for survival.

Freddie Kanoute was on the score sheet in February 2002, when keeper Mark Schwarzer was caught out of position to give the Mali international an easy finish, and Paolo Di Canio claimed the only goal just before half-time the year before.

Middlesbrough were victorious in the first Premiership meeting of the sides, at Christmas in 1995, but West Ham got their own back in March with a 2-0 win at Upton Park, courtesy of Julian Dicks and Iain Dowie.

In 1999 the Hammers beat Middlesbrough 4-0 on the last day of the season, finished fifth in the league and qualified for European competition via a league position for the first time ever.

Frank Lampard opened the scoring after four minutes and Marc Keller made it two before the break. Sinclair and Di Canio added to the total in the second period, and made Hammers history.

The greatest match though, took place in 1958 at Ayresome Park. John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove and Vic Keeble all struck to give the Hammers a 3-1 win and promotion to the top flight.

Their first ever encounter was in the FA Cup in 1912. A 1-1 draw away was followed by a 2-1 West Ham win in the replay at Upton Park. The pair have only met once in the cup since. Boro' advanced with a 2-1 victory in 1970.

Their first league fixture however, took place in 1923, and was also a 1-1 draw. The sides played again a week later and the Hammers won 1-0 away - that year Boro' finished bottom and went down. They were back in 1927, winning 5-4 at Upton Park but again finished bottom and were relegated.

In 1932, West Ham were relegated, and the two sides did not meet each other in top flight football again, until November 1974 - West Ham won 3-0 at Upton Park.