West Ham United v Liverpool preview

West Ham United v Liverpool preview

West Ham United v Liverpool preview

First published in Football
Last updated

Sam Allardyce says that former Liverpool pair Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing will be fully focussed on proving how good they are when the Reds visit Upton Park on Sunday.

Carroll has only recently returned from injury, scoring twice in his last four Premier League outings following a £15m summer switch from Liverpool.

The 25 year-old striker was never part of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' plans after he replaced Kenny Daglish in the summer of 2012, spending last season on loan at Upton Park.

Seven goals in 22 Premier League starts persuaded the Hammers to part with a club record fee to sign the Gateshead-born forward, who has been restricted to just seven league and cup starts since.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, West Ham boss Allardyce says Carroll and Downing will be keen to prove their value on Sunday after frustrating stays at Anfield.

"He [Brendan Rodgers] made a decision early on and we were the first to try and resolve that situation. As disappointed as Andy was, that was the decision made by Brendan and you have to move on, you have to put it behind you.

"Stewart Downing also comes into the fray where he played a part in Liverpool last season and then joined us. The rest of the team and those two lads particularly will want to show how good they are on Sunday. Let's hope they play very, very well on Sunday because we need them to."

Liverpool boast their own in-form forwards, with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez having scored 49 Premier League goals between them this term.

Asked about Suarez's form - made all the more incredible by his lengthy ban at the beginning of the season - Allardyce praised the commitment shown by both parties following the fall-out from the infamous bite.

"At the moment he now finds himself in the top two or three in the world. The commitment he showed to Liverpool and they showed to him, seems to have given him that extra impetus this season to go out and be even better than he was after the problems he had," contended Allardyce.

"The combination with Sturridge has flourished where that looked a little concerning in the early stages as neither wanted to play in a wide position. That seems to have all come together now and the rest of the team is providing the service behind them has grown in quality and confidence."

West Ham only have on real doubt ahead of the visit from the top of the league Reds, with left-back George McCartney likely to miss out with a hamstring complaint.

Captain Kevin Nolan is available for selection, but Marco Boriello (calf), James Collins (calf) and Joey O'Brien (shoulder) are all still sidelined.

Spanish left-back Jose Enrique is Liverpool's only absentee.

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