West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool
Venue: The Hawthorn
TV: Sky Sports Premier League
Referee: Stuart Attwell
It is the 151st meeting between these two sides in all competitions over the many years of the beautiful game we’ve all come to know and love. With both teams at opposite ends of the table, both with completely different tasks at hand, is this one a tough one to call?
West Brom are nine points from safety and this could be the final nail in the coffin, a loss to Liverpool (possible) and if Swansea avoid defeat to Man City (is it possible?), their fate will be sealed.
Liverpool are preparing to face Roma on Tuesday night in their biggest game of the season so far, although Jurgen Klopp will say he takes each game at a time, his focus will definitely be on Tuesday night here.
West Brom are coming in off the back of a brilliant 0-1 win at Old Trafford last weekend, taking all three points from Man Utd whilst Liverpool had a comfortable victory at Anfield against Bournemouth, a match in which they dominated and won 3-0. At the Hawthorns, West Brom have managed one point from their last six home games but have managed to score in their last eight at home. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 6 in all competitions, conceding only two goals across those games.
Head to Head
West Brom managed to eclipse one of the highlights of their season when they beat Jose Mourinho’s men last time out but it was a win against Liverpool in the FA Cup which would have been right up there before this. West Brom managed a 2-3 win in a game which was marred by VAR decisions back in January. In the last ten meetings between these sides, Liverpool have only managed four wins, whilst West Brom have won one and the remaining five have ended in draws. This makes West Brom somewhat of a bogie team for Liverpool with the reds only managing two wins in the last seven meetings.
West Brom finding the net in each of their last six home games is worth noting as they come up against, most probably, a mash up of the Liverpool back four. Jay Rodriguez has managed goals three of West Brom’s last four games too. Mo Salah has managed goals in his last six games for club and country (nine goals).
Liverpool will be without Nathaniel Clyne (minor muscle problem) and Emre Can (back) as they come into this one but they could be without more as Jurgen Klopp may choose to rest certain individuals before Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter. Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez returned to training this week, Lovren hobbled off with 10 minutes to play against Bournemouth and Gomez has been out since the last round of internationals with England. Adam Lallana and Joel Matip are both set to miss this trip.
West Brom will be able to call on Jonny Evans and Hal Robson-Kanu again as they return to fitness and to the squad. Daniel Sturridge is unable to feature against his parent club and Gareth Barry and Jay Morrison both won’t feature.
Ones to Watch
Mo Salah’s race for the golden boot is far from over as he sits four goals clear of Harry Kane. I can’t see him playing the full 90 minutes here against West Brom and when Liverpool take on Stoke at home between their semi-final clashes with Roma, again, I also can’t see him playing a full part. That means he’s going to have to pick up goals as and when he plays as his competition, Harry Kane, will play mostly every bit of every game from now until the end of the season.
All eyes on West Brom as they need Swansea and Crystal Palace to stop picking up points whilst they start claiming all three otherwise they will meet their maker pretty quickly. A weakened Liverpool side and a buoyed West Brom could see this match become a cracker.
Salah vs Gibbs and Rondon vs Van Dijk for me in this match up. Salah, we know, possess a whole lot of pace and it will be down to Kieran Gibbs to help West Brom overcome this. Salah’s movement is key to Liverpool winning this one, Gibbs has a job on his hands whilst up the other end, the big Salomon Rondon will be up against another in Virgil Van Dijk. It should be a powerful affair and a battle of strength between these two.
Predicted Starting XI’s
West Brom Predicted XI:
Foster, Nyom, Dawson, Hegazy, Gibbs, Phillips, Livermore, Brunt, McClean, Rondon, Rodriguez
Liverpool Predicted XI:
Karius, Gomez, Van Dijk, Klavan, Moreno, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Ings, Salah
Naturally this is just my opinion (and probably what I’d do) but I can see Jurgen Klopp resting Trent, Robertson, Firmino, as well as Oxlade-Chamberlain. Salah may as also be rested but he will still want to win this game, I feel he will start with Salah with the view of bringing him off with bags of time left.
Liverpool to take this one 1-2 and pretty much seal West Brom’s fate with goals from Rodriquez, Salah and Mane.
Written by George Pavlou.
27, supporting LFC for the entirety! Season ticket holder and views are my own for 90MAAT @Pavlou_George