West Ham United welcome Liverpool to Upton Park after a hugely impressive 3-1 win over Chelsea in their last game. The Hammers are in a strong eighth place in the league, with 22 points from 15 games and, importantly, a three-point lead over the Reds at kick-off. Brendan Rodgers' side will not be a soft target though. Recent results have been good for Liverpool and they've lost only once since the surprising 1-3 home defeat to Swansea City in late October.
The last time these sides played in the Premier League was in the 2010/11 season, when Demba Ba, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole scored, to effectively kill any chances of their visitors making it to a Champions League finish.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is scheduled for 4pm GMT. Live coverage will be on Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 1 HD and Sky 3D.
Sam Allardyce has used his considerable Premier League experience to guide the Hammers to an excellent start. And if 40 points is the magic number - to avoid relegation - then more than half the battle has been won.
The home fans were treated to a superb game last weekend, when the hosts fought back from an early goal to beat the European champions. Rafael Benitez looked to be on his way to a first win as Chelsea manager after Spaniard Juan Mata gave the visitors an early goal but former Blue Carlton Cole scored to level matters and Mohamed Diame (a reported Arsenal transfer target) and Modibo Maiga finished matters with late goals.
The win was a first since the narrow away win at St James' Park in early November. West Ham have lost two of the last three games coming into this fixture and are likely to have a difficult end to the year, with games against fifth placed West Brom, David Moyes' Everton and a trip to the Emirates still to come. From that point of view, the points and confidence boost from the Chelsea win was of enormous importance and Rodgers will be aware of that.
Liverpool, meanwhile, pulled off a good away win in a midweek UEFA Europa League group stage match. The Reds travelled to Italy and beat Udinese with a Jordan Henderson strike, cementing their position in the tournament's knock-out stages.
The Anfield club is enjoying a good run of form, which will please their fans. Rodgers has won two games back-to-back now and although both were 1-0 wins, the performances were particularly heartening. The movement up front and the subsequent passing were deservedly praised, with Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin admitting his players were outplayed.
The bad news for the club will be the suspension of star striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan international picked up a fifth yellow card of the season in the last league game - the 1-0 win over Southampton - meaning he is unavailable for this fixture.
The loss will be twofold - because Suarez is the club's leading goal scorer (13 goals in 20 appearances) and their only senior striker. The club's summer signing, Fabio Borini, is still recovering from a fractured foot and England international Andy Carroll is away on loan to West Ham, ironically enough. However, the former Newcastle forward cannot play against his parent club and so will watch this match from the stands.
West Ham United
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W L L D W
- Last Match: West Ham 3 - 1 Chelsea
- Last Five (all competitions, most recent first): W W L D D
- Last Match: Udinese 0 - 1 Liverpool
Allardyce has a number of injury concerns ahead of Liverpool's visit, with Jack Collison, Alou Diarra and Ricardo Vaz Te all unavailable. Also out injured is Carroll but that doesn't affect the boss's plans for this game. Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun and defender George McCartney could overcome their knee and ankle problems to be fit for this game but that is unlikely.
Probable Line-Up: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien; Diame, Noble; O'Neill, Nolan, Jarvis; Cole
Rodgers will use Jonjo Shelvey up front, in the absence of recognised strikers. The bad news for the Reds is countered by the fact captain and talismanic midfielder Steven Gerrard is expected to shake off an illness that kept him out of the midweek match. The England veteran will be key to Liverpool's hopes of a win in the absence of Suarez.
The only other absentees are Borini and defender Martin Kelly (knee ligament), while on loan Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin is likely to be rested for a facial injury.
Probable Line-Up: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Lucas, Allen; Henderson, Gerrard, Sterling; Shelvey