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Premier League

  • 9 December 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Boleyn Ground, London
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 35005
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West Ham - Liverpool Preview: Suarez suspended as Reds face in-form hosts

Sam Allardyce's men will be aiming to maintain their good form against a visiting side that have lost just once in their last six Premier League matches

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

WEST HAM UNITED

Jaaskelainen
Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien
 Diame, Noble
O'Neil, Nolan, Jarvis
Cole

LIVERPOOL

Reina
Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Lucas, Allen
Henderson, Gerrard, Sterling
Shelvey


West Ham have a number of absentees ahead of the visit of Liverpool. Striker Andy Carroll (knee), who is on loan from Liverpool, is out until January, while Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) and Jack Collison (knee) are both expected to be unavailable until the new year.

Alou Diarra (thigh) is not available for selection, but George McCartney (ankle) and Yossi Benayoun (knee) could make their returns.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will be without star striker Luis Suarez, who serves a one-match ban for amassing five yellow cards already this season. Steven Gerrard (illness) is expected to come back into the side, however, after missing the Reds' Europa League win over Udinese.

Fabio Borini (ankle) and Martin Kelly (knee ligament) are still on the sidelines, while Nuri Sahin could miss the trip to London after being withdrawn against Udinese due to a facial injury.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Kevin Nolan (pictured, right) has only scored once against the Merseysiders in his career. The boyhood Liverpool fan netted for Newcastle in a 3-1 win in 2010. Andy Carroll was also on target for the Magpies that day.
  • Luis Suarez has only missed eight games since joining Liverpool, of which they have won four.
  • The Reds have kept five clean sheets against the Hammers in the Premier League in the last five seasons.
  • Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has never faced West Ham in his managerial career.
  • West Ham were 3-1 winners over Liverpool the last time the teams met at Upton Park. However, Mark Noble, James Tomkins and Gary O'Neil are the only three players in the squad that featured in that starting line-up.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
22Jussi JaaskelainenGoalkeeper
2Winston ReidDefender
17Joey O'BrienDefender
19James CollinsDefender
20Guy DemelDefender
4Kevin NolanMidfielder
7Matthew JarvisMidfielder
7Matthew TaylorMidfielder
16Mark NobleMidfielder
21Mohamed DiameMidfielder
9Carlton ColeStriker
30Raphael SpiegelGoalkeeper
3George McCartneyDefender
5James TomkinsDefender
42Jordan SpenceDefender
26Gary O'NeilMidfielder
-George MoncurMidfielder
11Modibo MaigaStriker
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
19Stewart DowningMidfielder
21Lucas LeivaMidfielder
24Joe AllenMidfielder
31Raheem SterlingMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
1Bradley JonesGoalkeeper
16Sebastián CoatesDefender
23Jamie CarragherDefender
10Joe ColeMidfielder
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
30SusoMidfielder
-Adam MorganStriker
Players to Watch
Modibo Maiga
Modibo Maiga
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Malian striker has only been used sporadically by West Ham boss Sam Allardyce so far this season, but when he has been used the 25-year-old has performed very impressively. Maiga - who was signed from French side Sochaux in the summer - has only started twice since moving to East London, and while he has yet to establish himself as a permanent fixture in the side, his pace and physical presence has made him a very useful option coming off the bench.

The striker has scored twice in 11 appearances, nine of which have been as a substitute, and if West Ham are in need of an impact late on in this Sunday's game, then Maiga may just be the man to provide it.
Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 2 0
Former Charlton man Jonjo Shelvey struggled to establish himself in his first few seasons with the Anfield club, but in recent weeks he has become something of a mainstay in Brendan Rodgers' side. The midfielder was impressive in the Reds' recent 1-0 win over Southampton - a game in which Liverpool dominated from start to finish - and although he has only made three starting appearances in the league so far this campaign, the 20-year-old has made great strides since finally breaking into the first team.

Shelvey has scored four goals and notched one assist in 10 appearances in the Europa League, and Liverpool will need those goals on Saturday in the absence of Luis Suarez.
Prediction
Both teams head into this game in a fine vein of form, and a close encounter is to be expected. Liverpool perhaps have the more quality going forward, however West Ham have been extremely clinical in front of goal and have lost just once at home this season. The visiting fans may be eager for their side to take victory as they look to mount a charge for the top four, but in the end a draw may well be the most likely outcome.
Editor's Prediction

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