Football - Rodgers has winning expectations

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is relying on home comforts to break a barren spell against Arsenal and ultimately secure Champions League football.

PA Sport Report

The Reds have not beaten Saturday's visitors at Anfield in the league since March 2007 but if that run is to change this would be the ideal season for it.

Fourth-placed Liverpool have lost just once in the last 18 home matches and scored the same number of league goals at Anfield - 33 - as they did in the whole of last season at home.

They have dropped just five points in 12 matches at Anfield, winning 10 times, and are three league places and 12 points better off than the same stage last season.

"Our home form has been brilliant and that is vitally important for any team, especially a team who wants to be challenging at the top of the table," said Rodgers.

"We are going to go into each game looking to win the game. There is a greater confidence now.

"I certainly sensed (last season) there was maybe that little bit of fear of playing at Anfield because of the result.

"What we've tried to do over the course of the time I've been here is focus on the performance.

"You worry so much about the result but there is a process to getting the result - and if you worry too much about the result only it can hinder your performance.

"We want to win but what we can look to control is how we win and our performance level.

"That's something that over time has given us a confidence and a greater belief in winning games. We'll aim to replicate that at the weekend.

"We will always respect every opponent we play and none more so than the leaders but we will come into the game looking to perform and hopefully win.

"We expect to win now. I think when I first came in the pressure to win was difficult for us.

"We expect it because of the size of the club but we were never that confident to consistently do it, but now we go into every game expecting to win and none more so than at Anfield."

Last weekend's frustrating 1-1 draw at West Brom and an equally disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa have sandwiched a resounding 4-0 Merseyside derby victory at Anfield.

Liverpool cannot afford to allow their standards to slip - the first sign being in the 2-0 defeat at the Emirates in November - but Rodgers believes his side's form this season has prompted their rivals to raise their game against them.

"We are a team, because of how we work, get the best out of opponents because they have to be at their best to play us," added the Reds boss.

"But you can be in a really good spell and then go into a game and not be quite at your best, it happens in football.

"Our confidence wasn't so good (at the Emirates) and you have to give credit to Arsenal, who played well in that game.

"Certainly from then we have been very good with some outstanding performances and some okay which have not quite got the results.

"We played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and lost 2-1 and that was supposedly the best they had played all season.

"The game last week, there were a number of reasons why we weren't at our best but we still looked like we could get a result.

"You can't always play perfect football: we had a brilliant result against Everton but the game after that wasn't - sometimes that is how it goes for you.

"We understand the magnitude of this game and it could give us an extra push for the remaining games."

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