Reds look to bounce back after Newcastle shambles – Liverpool vs. West Brom Preview

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Liverpool welcome Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion side to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, as Jurgen Klopp‘s men look to respond after last weekend’s defeat to Newcastle.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Monday, August 10, 2015: West Bromwich Albion's Saido Berahino in action against Manchester City during the Premier League match at the Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. West Brom
Sunday, 13th December 2015, 16:00pm GMT
Anfield
Premier League
Referee: Craig Pawson

The Reds followed up the disappointment at St. James’ Park with a 0-0 draw against FC Sion in the Europa League on Thursday evening, and attention now turns to a response against the Baggies this weekend.

Having been on such a high after the 6-1 League Cup drubbing of Southampton, Liverpool’s momentum has been lost somewhat.

It is imperative that Klopp’s side get back on track against potentially tricky opponents, with more dropped points at Anfield not worth contemplating.

 

Odds

Having looked at the betting stats for every single football match, fans may be betting cautiously given the unpredictable nature of Premier League results this season.

Nevertheless, Liverpool are clear favourites to beat West Brom at 4/9, the draw is 3/1 and victory for the visitors is priced at 15/2.

Christian Benteke to score and Liverpool to win is 6/4.

 

Past Meetings

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 4, 2014: Liverpool's Adam Lallana scores the first goal against West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the nine Premier League showdowns between Liverpool and West Brom, it is the Reds who, perhaps unsurprisingly, come out on top.

They have won seven times against their less-heralded opponents, although the Baggies have won two of the last four at Anfield.

The most recent of those victories came in February 2013, when goals from Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku secured a 2-0 win for the visitors. Steven Gerrard also missed a penalty that night.

A Luis Suarez hat-trick inspired Brendan Rodgers’ side to a 4-1 triumph back in October 2013, with Daniel Sturridge‘s outrageous chip the icing on the cake. The performance epitomised the Reds in 2013/14.

Strikes from Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson helped earn Liverpool all three points in the same fixture last season, although a Saido Berahino penalty did make the nerves jangle late in the day.

A repeat of that win on Sunday would do just fine, although if we’re being greedy, a slightly more emphatic victory would be even more welcome.

 

Form

West Brom have been exactly what you expect them to be under Pulis this season: defensive-minded and difficult to beat.

They have picked up four points from their last two home games, against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, while the 1-1 draw at West Ham United that sandwiched those matches was also a solid result.

They have collected 19 points from their 15 league games to date, and if they keep going the way they are, relegation will be avoided with ease.

The Midlands side are never going to be the most aesthetically pleasing team to watch with Pulis at the helm, but you can’t argue with his ability to grind out results and frustrate opponents.

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2015: Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet looks dejected as Newcastle United score the second goal during the Premier League match at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have been consistently inconsistent throughout the season, which is something Klopp has to address sooner rather than later.

The Reds’ last six games in the league have seen them win three, draw one and lose two, which perfectly illustrates how unpredictable they are.

Their home form has been hugely disappointing, with just three victories at Anfield from seven perfectly winnable games.

Liverpool need to register a fourth win on Sunday.

Form Guide (Last 10 league games)

Liverpool: D-W-D-D-D-W-L-W-W-L

West Brom: W-L-L-W-W-L-L-W-D-D

 

What the Managers say


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Klopp focussed on the threat that a physical West Brom could pose during his pre-match gambit on Saturday:

“They don’t too much build-up play, so it’s intensive. They defend pretty deep, pretty hard.

“They want set plays in offence, not just corners but free-kicks, they want all this stuff to bring their quality through and that’s what I think everybody knew before I came here.

“It’s how Tony Pulis teams like to play and it’s quite successful, so why should he change? That’s hard work for us.”

Meanwhile Pulis was full of praise for his opposite number and his new side, addressing reporters on Friday morning:

“He is a fantastic manager, his record shows he has been a top manager in Germany. He did an exceptional job there.

“He has got one of the best clubs in England with some top players.

“He’ll have the opportunity and chance to push them on and progress.”

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Liverpool vs. West Brom kicks off at 4pm (GMT) on Sunday afternoon, stay with This is Anfield throughout the weekend for full coverage of the match as it happens.

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