Liverpool eye Champions League charge

Updated: 26 February 2011 13:15 IST

Liverpool visit West Ham United on Sunday with forward Dirk Kuyt insisting that a Champions League spot is still a realistic aim this season.

Liverpool eye Champions League charge

London:

Liverpool visit West Ham United on Sunday with forward Dirk Kuyt insisting that a Champions League spot is still a realistic aim this season.

Kuyt scored the winner against Sparta Prague on Thursday night to book Liverpool a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and extend Liverpool's unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions.

That run, and the return of Kenny Dalglish as caretaker manager, has transformed the atmosphere at Anfield after a woeful start to the season under Roy Hodgson and the Liverpool squad is now hugeful hopeful about what the remainder of the season will contain.

"I think in the league this season, where so many teams are dropping points, a lot of things are possible," Kuyt said.

"But we have to look to ourselves - we are unbeaten for a while now, let's have another three points on Sunday and then let's see where we are in five or six games.

"If we can close the gap a little bit more, who knows what is possible? It is always good when you see your rivals dropping points, but at the end of the day you have to bring the points in yourself.

"That is why the team was disappointed with the draw against Wigan, but now another game is coming up against West Ham and hopefully it will be another away win."

Luis Suarez will come back into contention for Liverpool after being cup-tied for the Sparta game while Steven Gerrard is expected to also be fit after his recent groin injury and both players are likely to give Liverpool a huge lift.

"When you are doing well as we are at the moment, you want the games to keep coming. The players look forward to them. I'm sure they would rather play matches right now than train," Dalglish said.

"It will be difficult. It is a fantastic football club, they haven't had a great season but they can be great on their day.

"I just hope it isn't their day this Sunday."

West Ham are in deep relegation trouble with just 25 points this season after a terrible term at Upton Park under manager Avram Grant.

They have been favourites for the drop since the season began and have won just two of their last seven Premier League encounters."

"Every game is important for us because we didn't start this season good so we need these points," Grant said.

"To play Liverpool is not easy but our target is that we will be hard to beat for the other teams.

"It's a big challenge and we need the points and will do everything to get them.

"I think we the team have improved a lot in the last few weeks. We have scored many goals and our game is better and more efficient and we hope to continue this."

West Ham have doubts over Robbie Keane and James Tomkins (both calf) while Matthew Upson is out for the season with an Achilles problem.

Liverpool are expected to be without defenders Martin Kelly and Daniel Agger, who were both forced off against Sparta while fellow defenders Glen Johnson (Achilles) and Fabio Aurelio (adductor) are both a risk and £35m man Andy Carroll (thigh) is still not ready to feature.

Topics : Football Steven Gerrard Birmingham City Everton Liverpool Chelsea Njazi Kuqi Newcastle United Arsenal Manchester United
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