Jurgen Klopp was eager to heap praise onto West Ham ahead of Liverpool’s trip to London Stadium on Monday.
The Reds won 4-0 when the two sides met at Anfield on the opening day of the season, but Klopp feels that game was not a fair reflection of the strength of this current Hammers team.
When Klopp was asked what he expects from the Hammers on Monday, the German coach replied:
‘A lot, to be honest. We started the season against West Ham with a brilliant game from us and not a very good game from West Ham,’ Klopp told his pre-match press conference.
‘That day they had a lot of new players, a new manager and all that stuff, and we were strong. That made life quite uncomfortable. Then they still had a couple of weeks where they really had to find [something] together. But they did it and now they are one of the strongest teams.
‘It was a really bad start; since then they are nearly a top-six side. And that’s what we should expect. The most experienced manager, I think, in the Premier League at the moment; a really good football team; really good signings in defence.”
Liverpool’s manager continued his usual in-depth reply to a question with further discussion on the standout players for West Ham this season.
‘They are experienced in the full-back positions, Rice, fantastic development this season next to Noble in midfield, experience and youth.
‘Then you have the wings – Anderson, fantastic signing, and Marko Arnautovic an outstanding striker. Now having Samir Nasri around, Snodgrass really back on track, Fabianski in goal, that’s a really good football team.
‘That’s what we have to be ready for again. It’s not to compare with the first game of the season. We expected a very difficult game that day; it was not that difficult but for two reasons: we were really good and they were not ready that day. But now they are ready and that’s a completely different cup of tea.’