1963. That’s the year we last managed to win at Anfield. That means that, for many of you reading this, you have never seen the Hammers triumph in front of the Kop.
That’s a hell of a long time to go without recording a victory and it has to end at some point. But on recent evidence there’s not much to boost our optimism that this is going to be our year.
If Tuesday’s loss to Crystal Palace wasn’t alarming enough, seeing Luis Suarez hit four against Norwich City on Wednesday means Saturday’s meeting with Liverpool looks set up for yet another disappointing result.
We have shown already this season that we can up our game against the better teams and Hull City proved to us last weekend that if you set up right against Liverpool they are very, very beatable.
So if there’s any hope of victory to cling on to, it’s just that. Liverpool can be beaten and it would be typical of West Ham to do so after recent poor performances against significantly weaker opposition.
But how will Allardyce approach things this time around? He changed a winning side at Selhurst Park and was punished for it. So it’d be nice to see him revert back to the XI that started against Fulham last weekend, particularly now that Ravel Morrison will miss the game through suspension.
What’s more, it would also be nice to see him drop the hugely ineffective Kevin Nolan, although Morrison’s absence all but delays that decision for at least another week.
December is going to be a very difficult month for us as we attempt to pull ourselves away from the Premier League’s drop-zone. We’ve still got a trip to Manchester United on the horizon, as well welcoming Arsenal to the Boleyn Ground on Boxing Day. So the two home meetings with Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion before the turn of year are going to prove crucial to our chances of achieving the goal of successive top-ten finishes and, might I add, should give us more of an indication of whether Allardyce has it in him to turn things around.
The return of Andy Carroll will be crucial to that – and how we could do with him at Anfield tomorrow – but in the mean time we have to continue with what he at our disposal. Modibo Maiga and Carlton Cole aren’t world beaters, but they will find the net if they get enough service. That’s why I think it’s crucial that both Stewart Downing and Matt Jarvis start each game, otherwise the lone striker, whoever that may be, is going to be useless up front once again.
Verdict: A win isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely. Draw.
Liverpool (4th, 27 points)
Daniel Sturridge is Brendan Rodgers’ only injury worry as he continues to recover from ankle ligament damage.
Liverpool expected to remain unchanged from the side that thrashed Norwich 5-1 on Wednesday night.
West Ham United (17th, 13 points)
Andy Carroll has returned to training but is still a few weeks away from returning to first-team action.
Winston Reid, Ricardo Vaz Te and Mladen Petric are all long term absentees.
Ravel Morrison is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card in the 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
Last 10 meetings:
|7 Apr 2013||Premier League||Anfield||D 0-0|
|9 Dec 2012||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-2|
|27 Feb 2011||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 3-1|
|20 Nov 2010||Premier League||Anfield||L 3-0|
|19 Apr 2010||Premier League||Anfield||L 3-0|
|19 Sep 2009||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-2|
|9 May 2009||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-0|
|1 Dec 2008||Premier League||Anfield||D 0-0|
|5 Mar 2008||Premier League||Anfield||L 4-0|
|30 Jan 2008||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 1-0|
Match in Numbers:
13 – Luis Suarez has scored one more Premier League goal (13) than West Ham have as a team so far this season (12).
0 – But Suarez has never scored against the Hammers.
50 – It is 50 years since the Hammers last won a league match at Anfield.
6 – West Ham have scored just six goals in their last 28 league visits to Anfield, including the last five in a row.
100 – Kevin Nolan is set to make his 100th first-team appearance for West Ham.
50 – Carlton Cole needs just one goal to make it 50 league goals for the Hammers.
3 – Liverpool have scored three or more goals in 6 of their last 10 meetings with West Ham.
5 – West Ham failed to score in five or their last seven Premier League away matches.
5 – But the Hammers also have the joint best away defensive record with Arsenal in the Premier League, conceding just five goals.
0 – Liverpool are yet to feature in a goalless draw so far this season.
Head-to-Head (all competitions):
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||GD +/-||Win %|