- Premier League
'Liverpool are best in the world'
David Sullivan is hoping two Liverpool rejects can derail the Premier League-leaders' title push - but says Brendan Rodgers' side might just be the "best team in the world" on current form.
The West Ham co-chairman is putting his faith in Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, whose former employers have enjoyed greatly improved fortunes since their exits, as his club prepare to face Liverpool at Upton Park on Sunday.
But Sullivan said: "On current form, Liverpool might just be the best team in the world and, realistically, the bookies have got it right in making them favourites for Sunday.
"It will be an incredibly tough game, but we've won four out of the last five home games and we'll not be rolling over."
Striker Carroll and winger Downing were both shipped out of Anfield for less than half of the big fees the club paid for them as manager Rodgers completed a major squad overhaul last summer.
However, Sullivan - who last year said buying Carroll for £15 million was a mistake - told the Daily Mirror that, had he not been plagued by injury this season, Carroll would have made his club, now looking safe from relegation, a fiercer force.
"If Carroll had been fit all season, we'd have been pushing for Europe," he said. "We've averaged two points a game over the last nine games - and he's still not match-fit.
"I accept he didn't fit in with the style Liverpool play, but he's still a fantastic player and we're delighted with him.
"During the first half of the season, Andy was tremendously unlucky with injuries. But we at the club have always believed in him.
"He is an extremely motivated young man who still has his best years ahead of him and we're excited by that. I'm sure he'll be just as excited about coming up against his old club.
"As for Stewart, he has had a fantastic season and has also been instrumental in helping us to climb to safety. Success is relative but these two players have helped us to stay in the Premier League and now we can continue to build."