Liverpool: Jordan Henderson believes Luis Suarez is in the form of his life ahead of Liverpool’s latest reunion with former manager Roy Hodgson at the Hawthorns.
Hodgson, who never won over the Liverpool faithful and presided over the club’s worst start in half a century during his 191-day reign, comes face-to-face with his old side for the second time since leaving Merseyside last January.
He has already tasted success against the Reds, earning a 2-1 win back at the tail-end of last season that went some way towards securing West Brom’s Premier League place.
Now he will lock horns with Liverpool once again on Saturday, in the knowledge that his successor Kenny Dalglish has seen his rebuilding job gather pace.
They are in the League Cup quarter-finals and a four-match unbeaten league run has kept them on the coat-tails of the top flight’s leaders.
And Henderson, one of Dalglish’s summer signings, believes another new recruit in the post-Hodgson era can only get better after Suarez took his season’s tally to eight goals in the midweek League Cup win over Stoke.
The Uruguayan striker, a £23million purchase from Ajax, showed he is clearly not affected by the on-going FA investigation into the race row with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
"His goals were absolutely brilliant at Stoke once again, a piece of individual class," Henderson said.
"But that’s what he is and he does that every week. He is in fine form and just seems to be getting better and better."
"With Luis playing so well, we are just concentrating on winning every game and getting that winning mentality back."
"We're quietly confident at the moment."
"We’ll just keep looking forward to every game, keep building the team spirit and hopefully we’ll keep putting in performances like that."
Dalglish, who admitted he was lost for words to describe the crucial contribution Suarez is making at Liverpool, is set to recall the likes of Steven Gerrard, Charlie Adam and Dirk Kuyt after they were rested for the League Cup tie in the Potteries.
Meanwhile, Hodgson wants Simon Cox to make up for the absence of Shane Long and prove his worth.
Cox is likely to get the opportunity to deputise for the Republic of Ireland striker, who is out for six weeks with a knee injury, against Liverpool.
He has been named in every squad so far this season, but has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League and has become frustrated by his lack of opportunities.
Although Somen Tchoyi and Peter Odemwingie are seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order, Hodgson wants the Republic of Ireland international to make the most of any chances he gets while Long recovers from the injury caused by Alan Hutton’s challenge at Aston Villa last weekend.
"This pushes Simon nearer. He’s been involved in every game so far but with him, Odemwingie, Long and Tchoyi we have four strikers competing for two places so he’s not had much of a look-in," he said.
"But with Long out it brings him much closer and, furthermore, I must say his training has been very good."
"His desire and enthusiasm has also been there and when he gets his chance I’m sure he’ll be ready to take it."
Hodgson also feels Cox has the added incentive of trying to force his way into the plans of Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni, for their Euro 2012 play-off game with Estonia on November 11 and 15.
"It’s important for us he maintains his level for us because there is also the Irish game coming up and he looks like he will be the major influence, along with Jon Walters, certainly if Robbie Keane doesn’t recover."