Łukasz Fabiański will likely need to be at his brilliant best if West Ham United are to score a second-ever Premier League victory at Anfield on Saturday.
The Polish goalkeeper is sure to be tested by the Premier League’s most potent attack when the Hammers take on the Reds in a teatime kick-off on Merseyside.
Liverpool have netted 70 goals in their 26 top-flight matches this season – six more than leaders Manchester City and 24 more than the division’s fourth-highest scorers, West Ham – with Mohamed Salah leading the Premier League’s individual goalscoring charts with 19 to his name.
With the likes of Diogo Jota, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and January signing Luis Diaz also potent in the opposition penalty area, Fabiański expects a busy 90 minutes, but he is relishing the challenge of stopping Jürgen Klopp’s high-powered attack.
Łukasz, you have a really busy schedule at the moment, with games every three days, so how do you cope with it?
“In some way when you always look at the fixtures ahead of you, you kind of know what to expect and mentally I think you're preparing yourself. I think it's always different when you play, like we do now, two or even three away games in a short space of time, because we just played Southampton, now we play Liverpool, and then we will travel to Seville. So, it's always a bit tricky, but I think mentally we try to cope with it in the best way and to be very positive about the whole situation and I think that's the best way to approach it.”
When you prepare for these games, do you prepare in the same way, and just speed up the process, or is it a completely different approach?
“I think a very important part is recovery actually, after the game. So you try to speed up the process of recovery, that's the main thing, and at the same time, try to mentally turn your mind into what's in front of you to try to balance the past and the future in some way. So it's tricky, but I think we already experienced that this season, especially in the months of November and December. So, more or less, we know what to expect and hopefully we'll be able to process ourselves well and then be ready for the games.”
Concentrating on the Premier League, you’re fifth going into the weekend and a trip to Liverpool, two points behind Manchester United in the top four?
“In all honesty, from the whole season, I don't think I've actually thought about the top four, top six or anything like that. For me, it's always taking each game as it as it comes and trying to do my best and focus on each game rather than on the final league table. So I think that that's my personal approach. It is exciting, but you always don't want to get too excited about it because I don’t think there's a point where being focused on every single game is much better for me personally.”
A win over Liverpool would certainly help, though?
“I mean, yeah, it would be a statement, but you have to always back up the statements in the next game. So, I think that's how you find the best things and they are very consistent when it comes to performing for the whole season. Everyone knows that Premier League is very demanding, especially for the teams that are competing on different levels in terms of playing in the cups, the teams that are going to the final stages of their competitions or playing in Europe. The teams are very consistent always end up somewhere high up in the table, so we would like to be that kind of team.”
Moving onto the Europa League, you played in the first group-stage tie, then Alphonse Areola came in, so would you like to come back in for the round of 16?
“I mean, yeah, I'm ready for it. I'm up for it. I will be very happy to be out there, but it’s obviously always a decision of the manager. But I think the way he so far this season has been rotating us, it keeps us on our toes and I think it kind of helps us to play at our best. I think that's very good to have. But if you asked me about the Europa League games, yeah, I would be very happy to play in them.”