Liverpool travel to West Brom on Easter Sunday, looking to pick up another three points in their quest for Champions League football.
Falling behind against Stoke last weekend, you would have forgiven fans for fearing the worst possible outcome. However, the half-time substitutions that saw Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho come on for Liverpool turned the tie on it’s head, giving Jurgen Klopp a vital three points in the top-four race. The turnaround means The Reds have won 18 points from losing positions this season, more than any other side in the top flight.
It was a result that was greatly needed too, with Manchester City just one point behind and continuing to impress. Liverpool can ill-afford any slip ups at this stage in the season if they want to return to Europe and West Brom’s recent form could open the door for another three points.
Unbeaten in their last six Premier League games, winning four and drawing two, confidence will be high on Merseyside that Klopp can guide the team to another win and bring them a step closer to their goal.
Gaining four points from two games against Arsenal and Manchester United is indicative of the fine season West Brom have had. Tony Pulis’ side secured a draw against Manchester United and took all the spoils against Arsenal, indicating the threat they pose to Liverpool at the weekend. Set pieces will be their most likely form of attack at the weekend, having scored a league-high 14 goals from corners this season.
However, the side have suffered back-to-back defeats against Watford and Southampton of late, bringing their momentum to a halt. The Baggies have lost four of their last six Premier League games and seem to have taken their foot off the gas with their survival already guaranteed.
Scoring from open-play has proved a real challenge for Tony Pulis’ side, with Salomon Rondon last netting in December. Hal Robson-Kanu has two goals in 594 minutes of football since joining on a free transfer. Liverpool have kept just one clean sheet in their last 13 league matches and if West Brom are to get anything from the game, they’ll be heavily reliant on exploiting those weaknesses – especially from dead ball situations.
Head To Head
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last seven league matches with West Brom, with three wins and four draws. However, the Baggies have only lost one of the last six meetings at The Hawthorns , with the last three ending in draws.
Liverpool will once again be without Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana for the trip to the Midlands, but Klopp remains hopeful the duo will feature before the end of the season. Roberto Firmino and Coutinho are expected to start against West Brom, despite Firmino not getting involved in first-team training.
West Brom have a couple of unnamed players with knocks to assess ahead of the match, but Tony Pulis has said his squad are in relatively good health.
Liverpool will know they can’t afford any mistakes at such a crucial time in the season, but Sunday’s game will be no easy task for The Reds. West Brom are so strong in the air and although they’ve taken their foot off the gas, they could cause some real problems. Nonetheless, I’d expect Liverpool’s quality to prevail and for them to take a step closer to the Champions League.
Predicted Score: West Brom 1-2 Liverpool