David Moyes' West Ham United travel to Anfield, the home of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool for the late kick off on Saturday in the Premier League, as both teams go into the game knowing they need all three points.
Just a couple of months ago, these two were potential rivals for a top four place, and while the Reds have now pulled away quite significantly, there's not an unassailable gulf in class between them.
Liverpool are of course now hoping to fight for the Premier League title against the team who are the reigning champions in Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, in a race that has only truly opened up again in the past fortnight or so.
With a game in hand on their Mancunian rivals, as well as still having a game to play against them, the six point deficit they currently face could very easily be caught up, but they can't afford any dropped points whatsoever.
One of many teams who will be attempting to take away such valuable points is the Hammers when they travel North, with their own lofty ambitions in the table still very much a realistic possibility to be fighting for.
Currently sitting fifth, the East London side are just two points off of the top four, in which Manchester United are occupying the final Champions League position, so dreams of an even bigger European tour next season are firmly on for David Moyes and his players.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Klopp said: 'Thiago will not be available for tomorrow [Saturday]. Curtis [Jones] is not bad but if it is good enough to go again tomorrow I don't know. Joel Matip is ill [...] Bobby [Roberto Firmino] is looking good but not good enough for the weekend.'
While the German manager does have a few injury concerns among his squad, given the huge talent that he has amassed as part of his team, he has plenty of options to call on in the meantime.
That said, the absence of Thiago in midfield will be frustrating to the 54-year-old, while Roberto Firmino's slightly longer-term absence does appear to be close to ending now, which is good news for Liverpool fans.
West Ham United
Meanwhile, Moyes told the press: 'Ryan Fredericks is doing a bit better and so is Arthur [Masuaku]. We've got a concern about [Tomas] Soucek because of his stitches in his head [...] Andriy [Yarmolenko] has been training but won't travel to Liverpool with us.'
There's a few absences from Moyes' squad too, though he was quick to point out in his press conference that he recognises most teams are having to deal with a similar situation at the moment, given the number of fixtures being played.
The Scot will hope Tomas Soucek is indeed fit for the game on Saturday, given his impact last weekend against Wolverhampton Wanderers, while there is at least some positives from the fact Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku appear to be almost back.
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Mane, Diaz
West Ham United (4-2-3-1):
Fabianski; Fredericks, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Benrahma; Antonio
In all honesty, there's not much more Jurgen Klopp, or indeed Liverpool fans, could've asked for from their team in just the last fortnight alone, with big wins in three different competitions in that time.
Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 3, 2022
There was the 6-0 hammering of Leeds United, the thrilling Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea on penalties at Wembley Stadium and in midweek the Reds progressed to the quarter finals of the FA Cup too - so it's fair to say they are in pretty good nick.
West Ham United
The Hammers are, by their own standards, going through a little bit of a rough patch of form, but that is simply testament to how far they have come on in the past two years or so that such a statement is even being made.
"We’re still going for the top four, so with all the negatives that have happened today, we’ve got to think about the positives for the season."— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 3, 2022
They picked up a crucial win last Sunday against Wolves, but did slip to defeat away at Southampton on Wednesday night, losing 3-1 to the Saints in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup and going out of the competition in the process.
Ones To Watch
Ordinarily, when previewing a game involving Liverpool, there is usually only one option when it comes to the player to look out for in the Reds' upcoming game, and that is Egypt international Mohammed Salah.
However, for this game the player picked out is Colombian winger Luis Diaz, who arrived at Anfield during the January transfer window from Porto, for a reported fee of around £37.5 million, excluding potential add-ons.
Since his debut against Cardiff City just under a month ago, the 25-year-old has already scored his first goal for the club, and looked extremely exciting in last weekend's cup final too, so is the one to look out for this weekend.
On the West Ham side of proceedings, it's another perhaps slightly unexpected choice in this section, given the fact the Hammers' best player so far this season, purely based on statistics, has been Jarrod Bowen.
If anything, Michail Antonio has been having a slightly underwhelming season, though he has still picked up ten goals and nine assists during this campaign, which is hardly a particularly disappointing return.
Many of those goals came near the start of the season, and he hasn't had as much luck since then, but having scored in West Ham's most recent game against Southampton, there's a strong chance the 31-year-old can find the back of the net again on Saturday.
Previous Five Meetings
There have been 144 different games between these two sides, the first of which came all the way back in 1901, but this section will just be looking at the most recent five occasions to given an idea of form.
Back in January 2020, the two sides faced one another at the London Stadium, and the game finished with a 2-0 win for the visitors in the end, in a season where they would go on to lift the title.
During that season, the reverse fixture was played just a few weeks later in February of that year, this time at Anfield, and it as a much tighter affair this time, as the hosts won 3-2 thanks to a winner from Sadio Mane.
Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2022
The Reds took the lead early on, but West Ham hit back soon after, and went ahead after half time, but the tide turned once again following Salah's equaliser, before the aforementioned Senegal international won the game for Klopp's team.
It wasn't until eight months later that these two teams played each other again, meeting on Halloween on Merseyside, but there was to be no frightful upset for the home team, despite an early scare.
Pablo Fornals got the opener ten minutes into the game, and the Hammers held onto their lead until the 42nd minute when Salah equalised, with it taking a late Diogo Jota goal to secure the three points.
With the way this pattern has been going, it is probably not too much of a surprise to learn that the next match also saw a win for Jurgen Klopp's side, this time at the end of January 2021 in the capital.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, the Reds eventually got into a 3-0 lead, and although Craig Dawson got a consolation goal three minutes from time, it wasn't enough to prevent Liverpool from going away with yet another win.
Finally, however, after four straight Liverpool wins, the Hammers got one of their own earlier this season, in a pulsating game at the London Stadium which saw David Moyes' team pick up a famous 3-2 win.
The game was end-to-end right from the start, with West Ham going ahead, then being pegged back to 1-1, before goals from Fornals and Kurt Zouma had them in control and even a late Divock Origi goal couldn't inspire a Liverpool comeback.
How To Watch
Viewers in the UK who are wanting to catch this game live on TV can follow coverage on Sky Sports, with the Saturday Night Football programme getting going from 5:00 PM GMT.
The game itself is scheduled to get underway at 5:30 PM GMT, being the last of a total of seven different fixtures in the Premier League on a packed Saturday schedule.