Liverpool vs Hull City preview - Hull horror show haunts Rodgers

Posted Wednesday, January 01, 2014 by PA

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has emphasised the Reds' determination that there will be no repeat of the mistakes they made in their recent encounter with Hull when the two clubs face each other again on New Year's Day.

The Tigers won this season's initial Barclays Premier League meeting between them 3-1 at the KC Stadium on December 1.

And Hull, currently 10th in the table, will be heading into Wednesday's reverse fixture at Anfield not only with that result still fresh in their minds, but also off the back of an emphatic 6-0 home victory over Fulham.

Certainly, Rodgers knows Steve Bruce's men are not to be underestimated.

But he has also stressed how disappointed Liverpool were with their efforts in the first clash, and regarding this match, the Northern Irishman said: "It's very simple - we are at home and we expect to win.

"We know it's going to be like any game at this level - a very tough game.

"They're coming off the back of a victory that doesn't happen too often when you're in the Premier League, especially when it's 0-0 at half-time. It was a terrific result.

"But we were very disappointed in our performance level there.

"We were nowhere near the standard we would expect, although you have to give credit to Hull - they exposed that on the day.

"We aim to make sure that no matter what squad we have or team we put out, we don't make the same mistakes again because home games are vitally important for us."

Hull, who are in their comeback top-flight campaign after gaining promotion from the Championship in May, were widely tipped for relegation before this season started.

But at the mid-way point, with 19 of their 38 fixtures played, they have accrued an impressive total of 23 points.

And they have lost only two of their six games since the victory over Liverpool - one being a 2-0 defeat at table-toppers Arsenal and the other a 3-2 home loss to Manchester United, against whom they had taken an early 2-0 lead.

"I think they've done exceptionally well. They're a team that's coming up," said Rodgers, whose own side are currently fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Everton.

Reds captain Steven Gerrard could make his return to action in Wednesday's contest.

Gerrard, who has sat out Liverpool's last four games after sustaining a hamstring problem in a win over West Ham on December 7, has been back in training and his condition is being assessed ahead of the fixture.

Joe Allen (abductor) has been ruled out for "a few weeks" and Mamadou Sakho (hamstring) also looks set to miss a number of matches, but Jordan Henderson is expected to be fit despite feeling sore after Sunday's defeat at Chelsea, while the on-loan Victor Moses is available again after being ineligible for the meeting with his parent club.

Midfielder Robert Koren wants Hull to maintain the momentum after finishing the first half of their Barclays Premier League campaign on a high note.

The Tigers enter the new year 10th in the table and high in confidence after thrashing Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

Koren, who scored twice against Fulham, told the club's website, "We're halfway through the season now and we've got points on the board. It's been a really good start.

"But this is the Premier League and we know we have to keep up our concentration in every game because we know that three points are available every time we play.

"From past experience, we know that this is a really tough league.

"You can go three or four games without getting a result and then there are problems.

"Hopefully we can keep going as we are with the good performances and getting points for those."

Prior to the weekend Hull had not won in five games, but the only defeats in that sequence were against league leaders Arsenal and champions Manchester United.

They were also impressive in the 3-2 loss to United on Boxing Day, having led 2-0 and also gone close to snatching a late equaliser.

They also have good recent memories of playing Liverpool having beaten Brendan Rodgers' Reds 3-1 just a month ago.

The Fulham game had been former West Brom player Koren's first start since that victory over Liverpool and he is keen to continue in the team and with that winning feeling.

The 33-year-old Slovenian said: "I haven't seen a second-half performance like the one we put in before in my career.

"To score six goals in 45 minutes showed that we have something special in our team.

"It was really good for our confidence and hopefully we can keep going."

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