Liverpool will try to add three more points to their total when they host a slumping West Brom side at home at Anfield on Monday Feb 11. This is a huge game standings-wise in the English Premier League since Liverpool sits in eighth place in the table with West Brom just two points behind them in ninth. A West Brom victory here would see them leapfrog over the Reds.
Liverpool has their 36 points from nine wins, nine draws, and seven losses while scoring 44 goals and allowing 32 against. They’re one point behind seventh-place Swansea. West Brom has 34 points from 10 wins, four draws and 11 defeats and is just one point ahead of 10th-place Stoke City. They have 34 goals for and 35 against. Liverpool is coming off of a 2-2 away draw with Manchester City last weekend while West Brom lost 1-0 at home to Tottenham.
The Reds will be hoping that striker Luis Suarez can add to his team-leading 17 league goals while West Brom will be depending on Roman Lukaku to increase his total of nine. Lukaku, a Belgian international was inexplicably loaned to West Brom from Chelsea at the start of the season and has been playing well. West Brom manager Steve Clarke worked at Liverpool last year as an assistant to former manager Kenny Dalglish.
Clarke said players such as Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson, and Stewart Downing, who were all signed by Dalglish, are now just starting to pay dividends for Liverpool and has told his players they’ll have to be closely marked. Of course, Dalglish’s biggest signing, which cost him 35 million pounds for striker Andy Carroll, is considered to be a huge bust by many, especially since Carroll was loaned out ton West Ham for the season.
New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers finally has the club playing some decent football and youngsters such as Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom have been pleasant surprises for the boss and fans. Clarke’s own club, West Brom, have been struggling after getting the campaign off to a good start. He’s hoping to have Youssouf Mulumbu back in the lineup as the midfielder has been out since the start of January due to a knee injury. When that healed he took off to South Africa to take part in the African Nations Cup.
Clarke will be without defender Goran Popov though as he’s been handed a three-game ban for spitting at Tottenham’s Kyle Walker last week. The status of striker Peter Odemwingie is unknown as he tried to force a mover to Queens Park Rangers on transfer deadline day and will be punished by the club.
Rodgers is hoping that striker Daniel Sturridge can play after he pulled out of the England squad for their 2-1 victory against Brazil on Wednesday. The same thing happened with Sterling and Rodgers may also have Philippe Coutinho in the squad after signing him from Inter Milan.
Predictions for Liverpool v West Brom
Liverpool still have hopes on making up the 12 points that separates them from fourth-place Tottenham, but that’s probably just wishful thinking at this juncture. However, a win against West Brom will reduce the deficit to nine with a dozen games to go and 36 points still up for grabs.
Liverpool’s won three in a row and look for them to make it four against West Brom. Sportsbook William Hill has the latest odds of a Liverpool win at 7/20 with a West Brom victory at 6/1 and a draw at 16/5.