After kicking off the campaign with a pair of narrow wins, Liverpool scored a hard fought draw with Arsenal on Monday night to remain unbeaten in the Premier League thus far this season. With the international break looming, the Reds host West Ham United tomorrow with boss Brendan Rodgers tipping the Hammers to cause some problems on Merseyside.
“This will be our toughest game of the four,” explained the Reds manager in his pre-match press conference. “They had a very, very good result the last time they played away [at Arsenal] and so we’re under no illusions – this will be a tough game for us,” he continued. “The two home games have been difficult for them. Their game against Bournemouth showed how well organised we were in terms of our game [against Bournemouth] because they’re a good side, play good football and can cause you problems,” added the Northern Irishman. “They’ve got a new manager – an excellent manager – who is still finding out about the Premier League and, importantly, about his own players. I’m sure as time goes on, Slaven will do an excellent job there. We know they’ll come here as a team motivated to get a result.”
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Bilic, of course, got the better of Rodgers over two legs in last season’s Europa League as his Besiktas side sent the Reds packing from the Round of 32 — something the Northern Irishman isn’t likely to forget anytime soon. Regardless, that was then and this is very much now; with seven points from three matches in the bag and the team looking dangerous on all fronts, snagging points at Anfield will be a daunting prospect for the Hammers. Despite their good start to the season, Rodgers has remained surprisingly pragmatic.
“Every game has been a test – and this game will be no different. It will test our organisation again,” explained the Reds boss. “But we’re playing at home and we’re a team that wants to ensure we keep that aggression in our game. You saw in our last performance against Arsenal that players are starting to understand their roles and co-operation with each other,” he continued, before adding, “Hopefully we’ll give them more problems, but we respect them as an opponent and know it’ll be tough.”