Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists his team will not be underestimating Norwich City when they visit at Anfield on Saturday.
Paul Lambert’s team have won three of their last four matches and also impressed in their 2-0 defeat at Manchester United at the start of October as well as performing well at Stamford Bridge before eventually succumbing to Chelsea.
They sit just three points behind the Reds as they look for a first victory at Liverpool since a 1-0 win in the final game before Anfield’s Kop terrace was demolished in 1994.
The 1-1 draw with Manchester United last weekend was Liverpool’s second home draw in four matches this season and they are still waiting for a first clean sheet in front of their own fans.
But Dalglish, whose team are fifth in the Premier League table, is sure that his players will have the right attitude against the Canaries.
“I don’t know what other people expect, but I know what we do,” Dalglish said. “We expect as difficult a game against Norwich as Manchester United gave us last week.
“Paul Lambert has done a fantastic job there. They are sitting there pretty comfortable in the league in ninth position. They went to Old Trafford and played very well. I’m sure they will be looking forward to coming here and doing equally well.
“They’ve done brilliantly. The players and personnel may be new but for us it’s straight forward. We’ll give them every bit as much respect as we did against Manchester United or Everton the week before.
“I knew Paul from my time at Celtic and I have huge respect for him as a footballer and also as a manager.”
Brazilian midfielder Lucas is suspended but back-up goalkeeper Cristiano Doni and young defender Jack Robinson are Dalglish’s only other absentees.
Steven Gerrard scored in his first start in more than six months against United last weekend following a series of groin problems.
The England midfielder has admitted that he was worried he might not play again due to the injury.
But Dalglish is confident that his captain will soon rediscover his best form.
“Well he’s fit enough to play for us and that’s all that concerns us. As we’ve said many times before, we’ve waxed lyrical about Steven and what he’s done for the club and rightly so,” he said.
“Obviously the more games you play, the fitter you will get but he’s certainly fit enough to be considered to play for us.
“We are absolutely delighted he is where he is. Even more so, that he came back last week and scored a goal. We just hope he gets a run now and a bit of luck.”
Lambert’s assistant Ian Culverhouse claims an identical performance to the display at Old Trafford will give Norwich a chance of springing a surprise.
Norwich, who reached the Premier League after two successive promotions, find themselves in the top half of the table.
And Culverhouse, who played in Norwich’s memorable win at Anfield in 1994, feels his players have never had more belief.
“It’s going to be a test. The one thing you can say is we’ll go there with confidence and looking forward to it. It’s another place where the atmosphere is fantastic and the players will revel in that,” he said.
“We went with a game plan to Man United and the players stuck to it and it was unfortunate we didn’t get something, but to come away from Man United feeling that unlucky was great credit to these players.
“We hope for the same again but these players will give everything they have got for the badge. They are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment and no fear, which is great.”
Former Liverpool defenders Daniel Ayala and Zak Whitbread will miss the chance to face their former club due to respective knee and hamstring problems and James Vaughan and Elliott Ward are also sidelined.