David Moyes will take charge of his 1,001st game as a manager when in-form West Ham host Liverpool on Sunday, and Jurgen Klopp is full of respect for his counterpart.
Recent history is on Liverpool’s side heading into Sunday’s game. The Reds have won four of their last five away league games against West Ham (D1) and are looking to win three in a row at the Hammers for the first time since doing so between 2003 and 2007.
However, only City (80) and Chelsea (66) have earned more Premier League points in 2021 than West Ham (62) – a total that already betters any previous tally set by the Hammers during a single calendar year in the competition.
Tomas Soucek’s own goal saw West Ham pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Genk in the Europa League on Thursday, in Moyes’ 1,000th game as a manager.
“And he gets obviously better and better and better, that’s how I see it. Even after 999 games there is space for improvement,” hailed Klopp.
“I don’t know if he reinvented himself, I don’t know him long enough to say that, but it’s absolutely incredible. Honestly, they are really good. I think everyone who watches them sees that.
“They are in a good moment, it will be a really good game I’m pretty sure. They are in a good moment, we are in a good moment, that’s how football should be before a game. I am really excited to play it.”
Moyes, meanwhile, knows his team are facing a title contender.
“We go into the game believing in how we’re playing. We want to give them a better game than last year and show them we’ve progressed,” he said.
“We know they’ll rise to the challenge too and it’ll be a tough game.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
West Ham – Michail Antonio
Michail Antonio has been directly involved in 17 goals in his last 22 Premier League games at the London Stadium for West Ham (11 goals, six assists). He is also the top scorer (19) and assister (12) at the London Stadium and is one of three current players to be outright top for both goals and assists at a stadium in the Premier League.
Liverpool – Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah has scored nine goals in eight Premier League appearances against West Ham. He could become the seventh player to score 10+ goals against the Hammers in the competition, making them the side against which the most different players have reached double figures.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Salah has scored in each of Liverpool’s first five away Premier League games this season, only the second player to score in his team’s first five games on the road in a season after Thierry Henry in 2001-02 for Arsenal, who failed to score in their sixth. The last player to score in six away top-flight games in a row was Sergio Agüero in August 2017 for Manchester City (seven in a row).
– Since doing the league double over Liverpool in 2015-16, West Ham are winless in their last 10 Premier League games against the Reds (D2 L8).
– Liverpool have won four of their last five away league games against West Ham (D1) and are looking to win three in a row at the Hammers for the first time since doing so between 2003 and 2007.
– Liverpool have scored 19 goals in their first five away Premier League games this season, with only two sides in the history of the top-flight ever scoring more at this stage – Manchester United in 1907-08 and Manchester City in 2011-12 (both 20).
– Since a run of six defeats in seven Premier League games in February and March, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 20 league games (W14 D6), scoring at least once in all 20 games (50 goals in total).