Preview: Liverpool vs. West Ham United

Preview: Liverpool vs. West Ham
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to this Sunday's Premier League encounter at Anfield between Liverpool and West Ham United.

Liverpool will have Europe in their sights when they welcome West Ham United to Anfield for a Premier League battle this Sunday.

While Champions League qualification is a somewhat distant hope for the Reds, they could secure a place in next season's Europa League if they manage to close the current five-point gap to fifth.

The home side head into this fixture on the back of a comeback victory over Aston Villa last Sunday, while West Ham have been dealt a slight blow due to the absence of Andy Carroll.

The striker, who netted a brace in last weekend's 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion, will be ineligible to play against the Reds as he is only at Upton Park on a loan deal from Merseyside.

The Hammers are expected to retain their Premier League status due to stretching six points above the relegation zone, so avenging their 3-2 defeat to the Reds in the reverse fixture will be at the forefront of their minds.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers could be without youngster Raheem Sterling due to a thigh injury, while the Hammers could line up with Carlton Cole up front.

Recent form

Liverpool: WLWWW

West Ham: WLWLL

Possible starting lineups

Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Lucas; Coutinho, Henderson, Downing; Suarez

West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien; Diame, O'Neil; Jarvis, Nolan, Vaz Te; Cole

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during the match against Zenit St Petersburg on February 21, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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