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.
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.
It is imperative that Klopp’s side get back on track against potentially tricky opponents, with more dropped points at Anfield not worth contemplating.
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.
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.
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.
West Brom have been exactly what you expect them to be under Pulis this season: defensive-minded and difficult to beat.
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.
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)
West Brom: W-L-L-W-W-L-L-W-D-D
What the Managers say
“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.”
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.