Liverpool supporters hope momentum from Thursday's Europa League victory over Udinese carries into the club's Premier League match with in-form West Ham United. The Reds have finally started to show signs of life after a shaky start.
Jordan Henderson played the role of hero against Udinese, scoring the game's only goal. It proved pivotal because Liverpool would have been eliminated from the Europa League without the three points. Instead, they head to the knockout stages.
West Ham come off an impressive win of their own. The Hammers used three second-half goals to stun a reeling Chelsea side. They currently stand in eighth place, outpacing most preseason prognostications after being promoted.
Here's a look at all the important viewing information for Sunday's marquee matchup along with a preview and prediction as the Hammers battle the Reds.
Where: Upton Park in London, England
When: Sunday, Dec. 9, at 11 a.m. ET
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
Luis Suarez, who's the only Liverpool player to score more than once in league play, won't be available due to suspension. Although it's clearly a massive blow to the Reds attack, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce isn't taking them lightly.
In his column for the London Evening Standard, he talked about how his squad's performance against Chelsea last week shows how a club can still compete without being at full strength. He understands the Reds are still dangerous.
People are suggesting Sunday's game against Liverpool at Upton Park should be pretty straightforward for us with Luis Suarez being suspended.
I accept that Suarez is an important player for them, but believing Liverpool are a one-man team would be incredibly foolish.
It's certainly the right mindset to have, and Allardyce should hope his players feel the same way. That said, with Suarez sitting out and Fabio Borini still working his way back from injury, the Reds lack weapons up front.
Finding ways to create scoring chances will be Liverpool's biggest challenge. Luckily for the Reds, the back line has stood tall over the past two matches and should be able to keep them in the match.
The Hammers will still be without Andy Carroll, but they have relied on a balanced offensive attack for much of the season. Kevin Nolan has been impressive, tallying five goals, and he's been supported by a handful of other players.
Making sure Liverpool don't score early is the biggest key for West Ham. The last thing they want is for the Reds' attack to start gaining confidence after a quick strike. If they can avoid that, the Reds will start getting frustrated.
All told, it's hard to imagine either side scoring more than two goals—most likely less. It will all come down to which side is able to capitalize on the limited opportunities they are likely to receive. West Ham gets the nod after beating Chelsea.
Prediction: West Ham 1, Liverpool 0
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