Liverpool v West Brom
Monday 11th February, 8pm, Anfield
Liverpool host West Brom at Anfield on Monday night looking to avenge the opening day 3-0 defeat to the Baggies.
– A stunning strike from Steven Gerrard was not enough to earn his Liverpool side a victory as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Manchester City last weekend.
– Steven Gerrard will be looking to build on his striking performance against Brazil this weekend, hopefully adding to his huge total of 755 passes completed in the opponent’s half this season.
– Brendan Rogers will no doubt have been delighted with the recent form of Daniel Agger in the Reds defence. The Danish international has made a positive defensive contribution once every 12.2 minutes this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Jose Enrique is another who looks to be hitting top defensive form, establishing the best tackle success rate in the Liverpool squad at 81% from 32 challenges.
– Expect to see Luis Suarez at the centre of Liverpool’s play this weekend as usual. The Uruguayan striker has either dribbled with the ball or completed a pass in the opponent’s half once every 3.9 minutes this season.
– West Brom fell victim to the talents of Gareth Bale last weekend as they went down 1-0 at home to Tottenham.
– Rumours are circulating that Romelu Lukaku might be extending his loan stay at West Brom beyond the end of this season and it’s not difficult to see why the Baggies would be keen to secure his services for a little while longer. He’s been on target in front of goal 37 times this season, bagging 9 goals along the way.
– Gareth McAuley continues to be one of Steve Clarke’s defensive rocks this season, racking up 236 positive defensive contributions this season at a rate of one every 9.9 minutes.
– Much of the Baggies’ best play moving forward often centres on Chris Brunt, the midfielder leading the West Brom squad for crosses with 43, collecting 5 assists along the way.
– Despite throwing himself into his defensive duties with enthusiasm, Youssouf Mulumbu would do well to curb some of his slightly more rash attempts at winning the ball. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he leads the West Brom squad for attempted tackles with 78, yet has only won 47.4% of them.