Premier League Betting: West Ham v Liverpool - Fan v Fan Preview



West Ham perspective: Graeme Howlett, Knees Up Mother Brown.

Team news

We are still suffering from something of an injury crisis, with a string of players likely to be unavailable for the game. Long-term absentees Jack Collison (knee), Ricardo Vaz Te (dislocated shoulder) and Alou Diarra are joined on the sidelines by Yossi Benayoun (knee) and England striker Andy Carroll, who is out until the new year with a lateral ligament injury. Full-back George McCartney is also a doubt.
 
Form

Although West Ham have lost three of their last four outings on the road, they have been particularly impressive at the Boleyn Ground of late. This season Arsenal are the only team to have left east London with three points - and even that game was all-square until the final 15 minutes. Most recently, reigning European champions Chelsea came unstuck when well-beaten 3-1 last weekend and, in all, United have taken 15 points from a possibly 24 in front of their own fans this term.
 
Head-to-head

Were this game being played at Anfield it would almost be a foregone conclusion, with West Ham having failed to secure a win on Merseyside since 1963. However, it’s a different story at the Boleyn, with the teams winning two each from the last four meetings - the last of which saw Avram Grant’s Championship-bound side produce a comprehensive 3-1 win in February 2011.
 
Best bets

West Ham clean sheet at 3.35. West Ham, under Sam Allardyce, don’t concede many goals at home - this season we’ve averaged less than one goal per game. With Liverpool missing their main goalscoring threat - Luis Suarez is suspended having collected five yellow cards - another clean sheet for the Irons could be on the cards.

The draw at 3.25. Liverpool have managed just the one win away from Anfield this term, while successive wins have thus far eluded West Ham in 2012/13. The draw looks the most likely result.

Carlton Cole to score first at 7.75. Cole scored in our last win over Liverpool, and will be looking to emulate that achievement this weekend.

Score prediction: West Ham 1-1 Liverpool

Predicted side


Liverpool perspective: Antoine Zammit, Empire of the Kop.

Team news

Liverpool missed out on crucial preparation for this game when their flight back from Italy was delayed on Thursday evening, meaning they didn't arrive back in Liverpool until the early afternoon. Luis Suarez is suspended for this game after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Southampton last weekend. Lucas Leiva, who returned to the first team last weekend, was rested midweek and should be available to start. Steven Gerrard might be doubtful after an illness prevented him from travelling to Italy. Fabio Borini and Martin Kelly are the only long injuries.

Form

The Reds are steadily but slowly improving. The victories against Southampton and Udinese have shown that we can get the job done, although we still lack that extra bite to totally kill off opponents. Both games ended with narrow victories but the clean sheets in both of them are very encouraging. Luis Suarez has been the Reds' most prolific scorer and he will surely be missed him in east London. Jose Enrique has also recently found his form and the Spaniard has been very influential going forward.

Head-to-head

The last time these teams met at Upton Park, West Ham won 3-1. The two clubs have faced each other a total of 123 times with Liverpool winning 65.

Best bets

Both teams to score at 1.80. West Ham usually keep things tight at home, but I can see both teams grabbing a goal.

Liverpool win at 2.45. We're definitely on the up, and continue our good form on Sunday.

Jonjo Shelvey to score at 4.00. The midfielder will need to get forward more in Suarez's absence, so could be a good pick to score.

Score prediction: West Ham 1-2 Liverpool (10.50)

Predicted side