Sunday, December 09, 2012

Stevie Out To Sink Hammers Again

In the absence of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard will be looking to continue his superb scoring record for Liverpool against West Ham on Sunday.

The Kop skipper has fired seven goals in 17 appearances against the Hammers. Only John Toshack (10), Ian Rush and Roger Hunt (eight each) have scored more for the Reds against the Londoners.

The Reds captain has scored more goals (seven) against West Ham No.1 Jussi Jaaskelainen than against any other goalkeeper he has faced, with each of them coming during the 'keeper's time at Bolton.

The sides last met in the 2010-11 season, with Liverpool winning 3-0 at Anfield with goals from Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt (pen) and Maxi in the opening 38 minutes.

The Hammers won the return at Upton Park 3-1. Scott Parker and Demba Ba gave the Hammers a first-half lead before Glen Johnson pulled one back on 84 minutes. Carlton Cole wrapped up the victory in injury time.

The Hammers were relegated at the end of that campaign with seven wins - their lowest Premier League tally.

In the Premier League, Liverpool have won 19 of the 32 meetings but have lost six with seven draws, while at Upton Park the Reds have won seven and lost six of 16 Premier League games.

Liverpool have won five of the last seven clashes at Upton Park, scoring 14 goals and conceding eight and have been beaten in just two of their last nine visits.

Three Liverpool players have scored hat-tricks for Liverpool at Upton Park - Roger Hunt in 1965, John Toshack (1976) and Michael Robinson (1983).

The last Reds player to score three against the Hammers was Fernando Torres at Anfield in March 2008.

Liverpool's biggest wins on this ground came in September 1965 and January 1976 when they won 4-0.

Joe Cole played for the Hammers on 149 occasions, scoring 13 times, between 1998 and 2003.

Glen Johnson began his career at Upton Park, making 15 appearances before his two-year spell at the club ended in 2003.

Johnson's last three league goals for the Reds have come against London opposition - his last two away from Anfield being scored at Chelsea and West Ham. He has scored in each of his last two appearances against the Hammers.

Jamie Carragher made his league debut for Liverpool against West Ham at Anfield in January 1997.

Daniel Agger scored his first Liverpool goal against West Ham in a 2-1 win at Anfield in 2006.

Jose Enrique played his first league game in English football against West Ham, with his Newcastle team winning 3-1 in September 2007.

Since his return from injury Pepe Reina has kept three clean sheets in four league games.

Liverpool have kept one clean sheet in their last eight league games away from home but a win on Sunday will see them record back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Last season the Hammers were promoted via the play-offs. They beat Cardiff 5-0 on aggregate before overcoming Blackpool 2-1 in the final at Wembley. Ricardo Vaz Te scored an 87th-minute winner after Carlton Cole had earlier given the Hammers the lead.

West Ham have won only two of the last 18 league meetings home and away but have lost only seven of their 37 league games during this calendar year.

Their only home defeat saw them lose 3-1 to Arsenal two months ago.

Their last fixture saw them beat Chelsea 3-1, coming from behind with goals from Carlton Cole, Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga.

Victory will take Liverpool above the Hammers in the table. The teams have almost identical goals for/against totals this season. Both teams have scored 19 league goals, while the Hammers have conceded 17 - one less than the Reds.

Sam Allardyce has won three of his 17 league meetings with the Reds as a manager - all three with Bolton. He never won against Liverpool in his time at Newcastle or Blackburn.

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