Brighton & Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong is wary of a Liverpool backlash when the sides meet at the Amex on Saturday, but is urging his team-mates to rise to the challenge of facing the league leaders.
Albion face a Liverpool side that have lost their last two games, and Bong stressed that the Reds will be eager to bounce back from their recent dip in form.
He said, “It’s a big game that we all look forward to as both fans and players. It will be a tough game, but it’s a game we all like and want to enjoy.
“We know they'll be very hungry because they’ve lost two games. We know how the big teams think and they won’t want to lose three games in a row.
“But we have to look at ourselves and need to focus on our own game.”
Bong looked back to last season’s game against the Reds, and the full-back highlighted Liverpool’s ruthless nature in front of goal.
“We know it’s going to be tough and they’re maybe the best team in the league at the moment. When we played them last season, they took most of their chances.
“They’re maybe the best team at doing that. You can play against City that have good players that will keep the ball, but you know Liverpool may not have it for a couple of minutes in the game and score with one chance.
“That’s why we lost at home, we were good in the game, but they had a handful of chances and scored. We learn and we have to be focused on what we’re doing.”
Attention turned to African Player of the Year Mohamed Salah and the full-back looked ahead to the prospect of facing the Egyptian forward.
“I have to congratulate him because I am an African player too. He had a great season and has been doing so well in the last couple of years.
“We know what he can do, and if I have to mark him, I will mark him like I always do. I will just play my football and will try to disturb him as much as possible.
“When you have a top player against you, you have to find a way for him not to be at his best level. If he’s not at his best level, he will not hurt your team as much as he could.
“This is my job as a defender, but I will also have to help the team go forward and to try and give the best I can. I never think much about one player and just about what I need to do.”