Premier League champions Liverpool host struggling West Brom at Anfield on Sunday afternoon (4:30pm, UK time). The Reds are looking to keep their lead at
Premier League champions Liverpool host struggling West Brom at Anfield on Sunday afternoon (4:30pm, UK time).
The Reds are looking to keep their lead at the top of the table, which currently stands at four points, while the Baggies are seeking a return to winning ways under new leadership.
Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Mané, Firmino
West Brom XI: Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea, Gibbs; Sawyers; Gallagher, Robinson, Phillips, Grant, Diangana; Grant
Where to watch Liverpool vs West Brom on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Premier League
- US: NBCSN
Where to live stream Liverpool vs West Brom:
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Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 3-0 West Brom
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Liverpool vs West Brom build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
It wasn’t too long ago that some observers were doubting whether Liverpool could successfully defend their title. A humiliating 7-2 loss at Aston Villa, combined with a season-ending injury to Virgil van Dijk, sent shock waves across the Premier League but it’s fair to say Jurgen Klopp’s men have recovered from that encounter.
Despite staying unbeaten since, it’s not been quite perfect. They’ve picked up six wins and four draws across the subsequent 10 matches, however, a narrow 2-1 win over Tottenham (then the biggest threat to their crown) coupled with Jose Mourinho’s side losing their following match game Leicester, has seen them open a four-point gap at top of the table. Having been top at Christmas, Liverpool’s focus is now on maintaining their advantage heading into the New Year and they couldn’t have picked a better opponent.
The Baggies visit the English champions looking to shake off a four-match winless streak leaving them second from bottom. Hiring survival expert Sam Allardyce as manager is a step forward and given how things are (currently five points adrift from safety) there’s every chance of the former England boss keeping up his record of never being relegated. Despite a 3-0 setback against Aston Villa in his first match, he’ll relish another opportunity testing his wits against Klopp; in six previous meetings, Allardyce has only tasted defeat twice (both by a one-goal margin) picking up one victory which came at Anfield, a 2-1 win in April 2017 when managing Crystal Palace.
- Liverpool (vs Crystal Palace): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Matip, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keïta; Mané, Firmino, Minamino.
- West Brom (vs Aston Villa): Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea, Gibbs; Sawyers; Diangana, Livermore*, Gallagher, Phillips; Grant.
Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both long-term absences for the champions while Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas will not be seen until February at the earliest. Thiago, Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner are back in training.
Jake Livermore begins a three-match ban after picking up a straight red against Villa last time out. Kyle Bartley, Hal Robson-Kanu and Conor Townsend will also be unavailable for Allardyce as he looks to get something from Anfield, but Matheus Pereira returns.
Players to watch:
Liverpool: ‘Tis the season for squad rotation with games coming thick and fast. Klopp is expected to shuffle his pack but someone certain to start is Mohamed Salah who recently came off the bench at Crystal Palace before putting on a player-of-the-season worthy performance. In a 33-minute cameo, the mercurial Egyptian forward netted twice while teeing up Roberto Firmino, who also had a good match. This latest brace sees him wrestle control of the Golden Boot standings; he currently leads on 13 goals, two more than rivals Son Heung-min and Jamie Vardy. He’ll fancy his chances of adding more against struggling West Brom having netted 46% of his Premier League goals at home this season.
West Brom: If we are being realistic, it’s going to take a special performance and Liverpool playing below par for West Brom to get something from Anfield this weekend. The Baggies have conceded a league-high 14 goals on the road this season while managing to net five times. Allardyce, who is renowned for instilling defensive steel to his teams, has an incredible challenge on his hands. So, as you’d expect, the onus will be on stifling the Reds irresistible attack, but that doesn’t mean defending from the back. Instead, cutting off the supply further forward could be a good way to go. Someone expected to put in a shift is central midfielder Conor Gallagher who has proven his fighting worth this season. The 20-year-old, aside from bagging two goals, averages 3.2 tackles and 0.8 interceptions per 90 minutes with the former best of anyone with 10 or more league appearances under their belt.
Premier League 2020/21 recent form:
- Liverpool: WWDWD
- West Brom: DLWWL
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