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WBA-MAD Preview: Liverpool vs Albion
Joseph Chapman looks ahead to Albion's trip to Anfield
No West Brom fan who witnessed the opening game of this season will forget that result in a hurry. Liverpool, the ultimate bogey team of Albion's, had managed to score five and six on separate occasions against the Baggies in recent seasons. But a Zoltan Gera thunderbolt sent them on their way to a handsome 3-0 victory.
This will be Steve Clarke's first return to Anfield since departing alongside Kenny Dalglish last summer, and the Scot will be heading into it knowing that Albion have never gone seven matches in the Premier League without winning. This unwanted record awaits unless the Black Country club can upset the odds on Monday night.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have enjoyed a fruitful run of form of late - aside from the defeat to Oldham in the FA cup. The signing of Daniel Sturridge at the beginning of the winter window perhaps seemed risky to some, but having netted three already the transfer from Chelsea looks like it has had a positive impact on the player and the receiving team. Having picked up valuable points at Eastlands and the Emirates in recent weeks (albeit after letting slip leads in both) and the home run seeing Sunderland, Fulham and Norwich being swept aside, it seems that Brendan Rodgers' attractive style is finally having the desired effect.
The resumption of the Europa League, coupled with the addition of Phillipe Coutinho (whom I personally rate very highly) will provide an exciting finale to the season for the Reds.
This will be the first game for Jamie Carragher since his announcement to retire at the end of the season. Where I'm sure the heroic defender will be warmly received for his loyalty and efforts over the years, the reception of one Peter Odemwingie is unknown: the Nigerian is in the squad.
Raheem Sterling is expected to be fit after suffering a thigh injury that kept him out of the England U21s squad midweek. Daniel Sturridge is to be assessed after also missing international duty with a dead leg. New signing Phillipe Coutinho may be handed his debut.
Goran Popov starts his three match ban after seeing red against Tottenham last Sunday for spitting at Kyle Walker. Peter Odemwingie is in the squad, Youssouf Mulumbu is set to return from AFCON but Zoltan Gera and George Thorne are long term injuries.
Match StatsThere has never been a draw between these two teams in the Premier League (Liverpool 10, West Brom 3) The first seven meetings between the clubs in the PL provided an aggregate score of 22-0 to the Reds. This included 5-0 an 6-0 victories at the Hawthorns, the latter being Albion's joint heaviest defeat in the PL Name relating to both: Steve Clarke Luis Suarez has 17 PL goals to date this season, Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long total this between them Albion's 1-0 win at Anfield last season was their last clean sheet away from home
Liverpool are on an excellent run of form. The front three of Suarez, Sterling and Sturridge look menacing and the addition of Coutinho will only enhance that.
Albion need to get back to winning ways soon in the hope of saving their quickly deteriorating season, but Sunderland at home next week is a more realistic target for three points.
Match score: 2-0.
What will the score be tonight at Anfield? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.
Source: WBA MAD
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