Liverpool play hosts to Midlanders West Brom on Saturday as the Reds look to perform slightly better than they did on their trip to St James’ Park last weekend. The Reds could really do with all three points at Anfield as they look to continue applying pressure on the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, the latter of which face Man City this weekend. West Brom on the other hand are looking for a third win at Anfield in their last three fixtures here.
Injuries for Liverpool mean Brendan Rodgers is still unable to call on Iago Aspas and Philippe Coutinho. Also out with a niggle is Jose Enrique which could be detrimental to the balance in the Liverpool side though there are many critics of the player. Sebastian Coates is also still out long term.
For West Brom they have some men missing with Sinclar and Gera both out with hamstring problems. Sinclair may recover in time for the fixture though. Also unavailable for manager Steve Clarke are Foster and Thorne. In general though West Brom have a pretty strong squad to choose from.
The last time the two sides met was in February of this year, two late goals sealed a win for the Baggies as Liverpool failed to find the back of the net. West Brom have a pretty good recent record against the Reds, they also won at Anfield back in April 2012 with Odemwingie scoring their only goal that day. Liverpool notched up a win against the Midlands side in September of last year though via a brace from Nuri Sahin… remember him?
Fact is though Liverpool’s record against the Albion of late isn’t very promising at all and I think the Reds are blessed that this fixture is at home at this stage of the season because as mentioned at the beginning of this post we could really do with those three points and it’s not going to be an easy task.
The positive for Liverpool is that West Brom have faltered slightly in their start to the season, they’ve picked up a few draws but they haven’t let many goals in. Their form for the last six matches reads – DDWWDL and they find themselves 10th in the league currently. Liverpool have also picked up a couple of draws and have conceded in each one of their last six fixtures except their win over Manchester United. The Reds are currently placed 6th in the table but goal difference is part of the problem here, a win on Saturday would see the Reds potentially jump to 2nd.
Liverpool have kept a clean sheet at home in 13 of their last 23 league games under Rodgers.
West Brom’s Olsson has made the most clearances so far this season with 86.
Steven Gerrard has created more than anyone else in the league when it comes to goalscoring chances, the captain has supplied 21.
With Liverpool back in the swing of things now after the international break there is hope that the Sturridge and Suarez partnership tomorrow will be on song. The thing Liverpool need to focus on though is their defensive play from set pieces, West Brom will get their chances this way and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s how we concede. I would like to be positive and suggest the Reds will maintain a clean sheet on Saturday but I just don’t think that’s going to happen, that said I still think Liverpool will win the game and my scoreline prediction is definitely a bit optimistic as I’m going for a 3-1 which appears to be a popular choice this week.Published 25 Oct 2013, 15:47 IST