Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Liverpool v West Ham: Bilic not counting on past wins in cup tie

SoccerNews in English Premier League 28 Jan 2016

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Slaven Bilic insists West Ham’s Premier League double over Liverpool will count for little when the teams meet in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

West Ham put in a brilliant away performance to win 3-0 at Anfield in August when Brendan Rodgers was in the hot seat.

Jurgen Klopp fared little better in the return clash earlier this month as goals from Michail Antonio and former Reds striker Andy Carroll secured a 2-0 win.

The Hammers return to Merseyside seeking a hat-trick of victories over Liverpool, but manager Bilic is taking nothing for granted.

“It [beating Liverpool twice] does give us confidence, but it’s still Liverpool away,” he said. 

“When I heard it was Liverpool I didn’t think ‘oh yes we beat them twice come on give us Liverpool’.

“On the other hand we are confident because we beat them twice and have the recent memory of beating them. It’s still here [in our minds] what we have to do to have a chance to beat them again.

“It would definitely be a blow [to go out] but then it wouldn’t be a shock for us because they are Liverpool, playing at home. 

“Make no mistake we approach the game full of respect. We have beaten them twice, we are confident and hungry to progress in the FA Cup.”

Liverpool are already guaranteed a trip to Wembley in the League Cup this season having beaten Stoke City 6-5 on penalties in Wednesday’s semi-final second-leg tie.

The Reds, who needed a replay to beat Exeter City in round three, have been inconsistent in the Premier League this term – a thrilling 5-4 win at Norwich City last weekend leaving them seventh.

But vice-captain James Milner believes winning a trophy can spark a similar period of success to what he enjoyed at Manchester City when they won the FA Cup in 2011.

“We’ve given ourselves a good start, we’re in the final,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “And we’re in all the other competitions.

“Winning the FA Cup [at City] gave us the belief that we could go and win trophies. 

“The first one is always important, to have that winning habit and to get over the line. The first one gave us the belief to go and win the league the next year.”

West Ham are definitely without Carl Jenkinson, who is to see a specialist over a knee injury sustained in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Manchester City.

Sam Bryam is cup-tied having played for Leeds United in round three, while Andy Carroll (hamstring), Diafra Sakho and Manuel Lanzini (both thigh) remain sidelined.

Liverpool have no new reported injuries.

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