Liverpool play West Ham United on Wednesday in the kind of game Liverpool haven’t faced in months.
The Reds are huge favourites for the meeting in London. It’s also a game without the pressure they’ve been accustomed to recently.
Let’s look at their last six Premier League games, for instance.
That takes us back to Boxing Day, away at then-second-place Leicester City. That was a huge game against a top side and it came just days after the Club World Cup.
Next – and just three days later – was Wolves. Again, a side firmly chasing a European spot and one of the league’s most dangerous sides. Four days later, Liverpool hosted a Sheffield United side that again challenges for Europe and had lost just one away game in a year.
From there, it was away at Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur. A week later, Liverpool host Manchester United. After them? Wolves away.
That’s a ridiculous stretch of games. All of those sides have European aspirations and all were difficult games. In fact, every single one carried the ‘can they upset Liverpool?’ question. West Ham don’t.
It’s the first time, really, that Liverpool have had a league game like this since Watford away on December 14th. But even that was different.
That game came four days after a crunch Champions League game with RB Salzburg. It came four days before the start of Liverpool’s Club World Cup campaign.
And it was in that chaotic, hectic December where Liverpool had to play a unique number of games. In short, it wasn’t a normal game, either.
So West Ham v Liverpool is a game where normality returns. The Reds have had some rest and they go in knowing the opposition won’t trouble their best.
It’s your standard, routine Premier League fixture – the kind Liverpool haven’t had since, arguably, facing Crystal Palace in November.