West Ham United can pile the pressure on relegation rivals Aston Villa in the next two weeks.
A draw at Anfield last time out would have been enough to lift West Ham out of the bottom three and above the Villains.
It wasn’t to be but the Hammers showed plenty of evidence they have what it takes to beat the drop in a desperately unfortunate 3-2 defeat.
West Ham’s big chance to get out of relegation zone
Now David Moyes’s side have a real chance to put their claret and blue counterparts under pressure as West Ham play twice before Villa’s next Premier League game.
West Ham entertain Southampton at the London Stadium on Saturday in what is surely a must-win game.
But Dean Smith’s side have the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday instead this weekend.
Hammers play twice before Villa’s next game
Victory over the Saints would lift West Ham above Villa and – if results go to form – probably Bournemouth too as they face Chelsea.
The Hammers then travel to Arsenal next weekend – not the daunting fixture it once was – where a point would be a realistic aim.
Again Villa don’t play until a tough Monday night match away to Leicester City.
Moyes must take advantage of rivals’ tough schedules
If West Ham can pick up three or even four points from the next two games they will likely get out of the relegation zone and stay there for at least a few weeks.
Bournemouth must go to Liverpool while Villa play Chelsea the week after too.
Watford, level on points with West Ham going into Saturday’s game, also have difficult fixtures with Liverpool this weekend.
If ever the fixture list has conspired to help West Ham it is in the next two weeks.
Now it is over to Moyes and the players to take advantage.