West Ham v Liverpool: Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing eager to show 'how good they are' and disrupt Liverpool challenge for the Premier League title

The two former Anfield players will come up against the title challenging Reds at Upton Park this weekend

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is banking on Liverpool outcasts Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing to help his side arrest their former club's title charge when the Premier League leaders visit Upton Park on Sunday.

Carroll, who moved from Newcastle United to Liverpool for £35m in January 2011, played only two games for the Reds at the start of last season before manager Brendan Rodgers loaned the striker to West Ham.

The deal was made permanent last May, with the London club paying £15m but Carroll was injured until January. Since then, the powerful striker may have scored only two goals in 10 games but he has provided a focal point for the attack.

Allardyce told reporters today that had Carroll been fit all season, West Ham, who were in relegation trouble until recently, could have been challenging for a place in Europe.

"It's a possibility, yes," he said. "Since the turn of the year, our change of form and results has got better and better and now we're in the best run we've had since we've been back in the Premier League.

"We've got to take that confidence into Sunday's game and hopefully we can produce one of those performances that has happened many, many times in the Premier League this year.

"Just the other week Crystal Palace beat Chelsea, and Manchester City lost to Sunderland, things like that can happen."

Read more: Why we are heading for a thrilling finale
Carroll could haunt Liverpool - but he had to go
Gerrard: 'Dreams only happen when you get the job done'

Former England winger Downing played 29 League games for Liverpool last season - including in their 3-2 win at West Ham - before moving to east London for a reported five million pounds fee in August.

"The rest of the team and those two lads particularly will want to show how good they are on Sunday," Allardyce added. "Let's hope they play very, very well, because we need them to."

Brendan Rodgers talks with Andy Carroll Brendan Rodgers talks with Andy Carroll  

The West Ham manager praised Liverpool's Luis Suarez, the Premier League's leading scorer with 29 goals, as "one of the top two or three in the world" and described Sunday's opponents as "in terms of form and results, operating at 100 percent".

Liverpool won their eighth league game in a row last weekend to replace Chelsea at the top of the table and the Merseysiders will be crowned champions for the first time since 1990 if they win their six remaining matches.

Reuters

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own