(Photo credit: REUTERS/Carl Recine)
Liverpool will continue trying to prove they are the challenger most likely to wrest the league title from the defending Premier League champions when they host West Ham United on Sunday.
After finishing fifth last season -- their worst placement in seven campaigns -- the Reds (4-0-1, 13 points)are one of four Premier League teams still unbeaten heading into the weekend. Liverpool sits two points back of the leaders, three-time defending champion Manchester City.
However, it has been anything but a routine return to winning for manager Jurgen Klopp's group, who most recently in the league came from a goal down to win 3-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.
"The things we went through now already in this season, that's usually enough for a whole season if you have done these things after 38 games, and we have it after five -- twice red card, 10 men, turning games and these things," Klopp said. "And now (we) did it again, played a really bad half and a very good half and turned it around again (against Wolves). Again, it's not what you plan, it's not what you want. But when you have it, you have to go through it, and that's what we did."
Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez each have two league goals for Liverpool. However, the latter pair could be rotated after each played the full 90 minutes on Thursday in the Reds' 3-1 UEFA Europa League victory against LASK in Linz, Austria, where Liverpool again conceded first.
West Ham (3-1-1, 10 points) are playing the second half of a brutal league back-to-back slate after taking a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City a week ago.
They were able to rebound with a 3-1 home win over TSC of Serbia in their Europa League opener on Thursday, when James Ward-Prowse contributed two more assists.
The former Southampton captain has been among the Hammers' most important contributors to their own strong following start, logging two goals and five assists in all competitions for the East Londoners following his summer move.
"I probably felt that he had the best chance of settling in quickly because of his Premier League experience," manager David Moyes said of Ward-Prowse. "We wanted to see if he could give us goals and assists, and he's certainly done that."
Fellow new arrival Mohammed Kudus scored a second-half goal in Europa League duty and may have performed well enough to earn his first Premier League start. Meanwhile, defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez is expected to return after he didn't play on Thursday while serving a suspension after getting red-carded in his final European game last season for Ajax.
--Field Level Media