No sentiment for Hodgson
The 63-year-old faces the side he left in the summer after taking them to the Europa League final for the first time. On his arrival at Liverpool he described the affection and gratitude he had for the Cottagers and many of their staff but come kick-off he will have no other thought but making it five successive Premier League home victories. "Sentiment has never played a part in my football life," he said. "I like to win with the team I am working with and it doesn't really matter if the opponents are a team I happen to like or dislike. "I have such respect for the club but I don't know whether that adds spice. "I have respect for the way they play and they are hard to beat - they have lost fewer league games than we have. "But when match day comes around they are enemy number one. Hopefully we can win the game and then be big friends afterwards." Hodgson will look out across the Anfield turf on Saturday and see plenty of familiar faces among the opposition, players who helped him turn things around at Craven Cottage when it appeared they were destined for relegation when he took over in December 2007. However, he has enough on his plate trying to get Liverpool back into the Champions League reckoning to dwell on nostalgia. "It brings back a lot of very good memories. It was a fantastic two and a half years for me at the club, I had a good time there and was really well looked after," Hodgson added. "The club was good to me and the players were excellent, a real joy to work with, and it was a wrench to leave them. "But the job at Liverpool does not come along every day and I was lucky the people at the club understood this was something I should do and wanted to do. "When you leave a club and you play against them there is only one thought in your mind - we want to win, we need to win because we are desperate to move up the table. "My only thought now is 'I wish they were a worse team than they are' because I know it won't be easy for us to beat them but I don't have any sentiment at all. "They, like ourselves, are desperate for points and I think it will be an intensive game. "There are goals in their team but maybe they are going through one of those spells when it is not going for them. "But I would be surprised not to see them in the top half of the table at the end of the season."