Why West Ham have (literally) no chance against Liverpool

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Huw Davies peruses the PowerTable stats ahead of this weekend's crucial Premier League clash...

Liverpool travel to Upton Park on Saturday looking to usurp Manchester United at the top of the table for at least one night ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday.

West Ham won't want to make it easy for Rafa Benitez's men, what with them hoping to bag at least a point as they continue their quest for a Europa League spot.

However, the stats are against Gianfranco Zola's side. In fact, if the PowerTable is to be believed, they might as well not turn up.

The Hammers have made Upton Park a fortress of late, conceding only two goals in their last six games.

But their home record against Tier 1 teams – the Big Four plus Villa – this season is appalling: played four, lost four, scored none.

Having also failed to find the net at Anfield in December's 0-0 return fixture, West Ham look unlikely to threaten the Liverpool goal. Pepe Reina might want to bring a sudoku puzzle or two with him.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have an 80 percent effectiveness rating away from Anfield this season, and have scored 12 goals in their last six away games.

Xabi Alonso is set to be sidelined after being annihilated by Joey Barton last weekend, but Fernando Torres could return to bang in those badly-needed goals.

The Reds will most likely benefit from a good second-half, and don't need to panic if they're not ahead at the break.

Liverpool have the best second-half record in the league this season, while West Ham have lost six of the 10 matches they've been drawing at half-time.

But whatever the score, don't switch off or leave the ground early. The last half-hour promises to be entertaining.

Both teams score more often after the hour mark than in any other period – 58 percent of Liverpool's away goals coming in those last 30 minutes.

They're especially busy in injury time, so it's more than slightly possible that the crucial winner could come late in the day.

Either way, it's a must-win and a should-win for Benitez's side, meaning little hope for Zola's men.

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