Match Preview: West Brom (h)

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Liverpool look to get their league form back on track after last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds remain joint top of the Premier League table with Chelsea, but can’t afford to let points slip.

Rafael Benitez hopes that striker Fernando Torres will be fit enough to start after recovering from injury. The Spanish international has missed the last six games after being initially only expected to miss three of four.

TorresBenitez told the official LFC website on Friday “I think Torres will be fit. He is training with the team. We’ll have to talk to the player again but I think he will be okay.

“It will be very good for the team to have him back. Competition is really important, especially for the strikers. We are playing really well but we’re not taking our chances. Hopefully it will be just the right time. If he can score a lot of goals, hopefully the other strikers can do the same.”

With Torres back, Benitez must decide who to replace, with Mascherano or Alonso likely to miss out in midfield.

Last week it was top vs bottom as the Reds travelled to White Hart Lane, while this week it’s second top vs second botton with West Brom currently 19th in the table and the Reds dropping below Chelsea on goal difference. The Baggies drew 2-2 with Blackburn last Saturday having lost their last three matches.

CarsonFormer Liverpool keeper Scott Carson will be returning to Anfield after making a permanent departure in the summer for just over £3m.

Pre-Match Quotes:

Benitez: “You always have to show character after a defeat. If you can impress in the next game then it can send a positive message.

“Always when you are top you are really pleased and you want to stay there for a long time.

“They are strong but they also try to play football, so it’ll be an interesting game.

“They will start a bit deep and try to play counter attack but also they will push and try to score.”

AnfieldHead to Head Stats:

All matches:
League: Liverpool 53 wins, WBA 28, Draws 33
Prem: Liverpool 6 wins, WBA 0, Draws 0

At Anfield:
League: Liverpool 31 wins, WBA 9, Draws 17
Prem: Liverpool 3 wins, WBA 0, Draws 0

Squads:

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Hyypia, Aurelio, Dossena, Benayoun, Babel, Gerrard, Mascherano, Alonso, Pennant, Lucas, Kuyt, Torres, Keane, Riera, Cavalieri.

West Brom: Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Hoefkens, Barnett, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Cech, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Teixeira, Valero, Brunt, Miller, Bednar, Moore, Slusarski, MacDonald, Pele.

Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
TV: Live on Setanta Sports (UK)

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