West Ham manager David Moyes believes Liverpool are the team everyone wants to beat in the same way as when Manchester United dominated domestically.
Liverpool's surge towards a first league title in 30 years looks almost inevitable and they have now gone a remarkable 42 league matches unbeaten.
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Moyes, who managed United for most of the 2013-14 season, says teams now raise their game against Liverpool in a similar way to how sides performed against his old club when they were at the peak of their powers.
"People will now be out to try and beat Liverpool. That's what happens in football. It happened quite a lot in my time at Manchester United, everybody was out there trying to beat Manchester United and teams improved," Moyes said.
"I said it the other day, whoever the best team is out there someone is out there plotting how to beat them. All the managers are thinking 'what system can I beat them with, what players can I beat them with?'."
Liverpool's closest challengers Manchester City, who are 22 points behind, host West Ham on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
Moyes' side are in the relegation places ahead of their trip to the Etihad and with a visit to Liverpool just over two weeks away, the West Ham boss insists his side will fight hard to get some much-needed points.
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"What we've seen from Manchester City over recent years has been incredible and we are now seeing something similar from Liverpool," he said.
"All I can say is you play everybody twice in the league. We've got a lot of others teams to play. In the short period since I have come in I will have had to play Liverpool twice and Manchester City, but again you have to play them all.
"We know they are tough games but we understand that. We will go there and try and get a result and take points from the games.
"I don't think in football it comes much tougher. There are only a few teams in Europe that you might call tougher games, but it's also a challenge.
"You only need to look at Manchester City's success in recent years which has been exceptional, and Liverpool have also found ways of getting better players in to try and beat them.
"We go to both the games knowing they won't be easy tasks but we will try everything we can to get the right results."