Liverpool vs West Brom Preview - Reds welcome Big Sam and The Baggies for Anfield showdown

Liverpool vs West Brom Preview - Reds welcome Big Sam and The Baggies for Anfield showdown

THE DETAILS

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Kevin Friend

Date & Time – Sunday, December 27th @ 16:30

Current Odds – Liverpool 1/9, Draw 9/1, West Brom 18/1

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It’s the third year in a row where, as Liverpool fans, we get to enjoy the fact that our team is top of the Premier League at Christmas. With everything Jürgen Klopp and his squad has been through this season, the fact The Reds are anywhere near first place – never mind being four points clear – is a feat of remarkable proportions.

Happy Christmas Reds!

FORM

Liverpool Form

Liverpool cemented their place at the top of the league with their last two wins – 2-1 against Spurs and 7-0 away to Crystal Palace. That win at Selhurst Park was a club record – the largest ever away win by a Liverpool side in top-flight football.

The Reds have a 100% record at Anfield this season, winning their seven home games so far. Liverpool are also unbeaten at Anfield in the league since April 2017.

Mohamed Salah has been in scintillating form for Liverpool with 13 league goals already.

West Brom Form

West Brom have managed just one Premier League win in their 14 games so far this season. That victory was against the worst team in the division – Sheffield United.

Sam Allardyce’s reign at The Hawthorns got off to the worst possible start as they were easily beaten by Aston Villa last Sunday.

With just seven points from 14 games, Allardyce has his work cut out if he is to keep West Brom in the Premier League come next May.

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool are without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas for the foreseeable future. Jota and Tsimikas may return to action in mid-to-late January but Gomez and Van Dijk are both out until April at least.

The good news this week was that Jürgen Klopp welcomed back Thiago Alcantara, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri to full training. It’s unclear if any of them will be picked as part of the squad – its’ certain none of them will start on Sunday – but it’s great to have the trio close to full fitness again.

Curtis Jones’ progression has been one of the highlights of the 2020/21 season so far. The young Scouser is likely to start again on Sunday. Jones will likely be part of a midfield trio alongside Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum, with Henderson playing the ‘6’ role at the base of the midfield.

Alisson is fit and will start in goal for The Reds.

The back four should be Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joël Matip, Fabinho and Andy Robertson.

With Diogo Jota out injured, Klopp is expected to stick with his trusted front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané. Takumi Minamino impressed against Crystal Palace and could get some more minutes from the bench against West Brom.

West Brom Team News

Jake Livermore will miss the trip to Anfield due to suspension.

Kyle Bartley, Conor Townsend and Hal Robson-Kanu are all with injuries.

Sam Allardyce used a 4-1-4-1 formation in his first, and only, game at the helm so far – West Brom’s 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa. He’s likely to stick with that shape for this weekend’s game.

PREDICTED LINEUPS

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mané

West Brom XI (4-1-4-1) – Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, O’Shea, Gibbs; Sawyers; Phillips, Pereira, Gallagher, Diangana; Grant

WHEN THEY LAST MET

The last meeting between the sides was a 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns in April 2018. Danny Ings and Mohamed Salah put Liverpool two ahead in that game before late goals from Jake Livermore and Salomón Rondón.

Liverpool have not beaten West Brom in any of their last three clashes. The visitors won 3-2 at Anfield in an FA Cup clash in January 2018.

The last meeting in the league at Anfield was a 0-0 draw in December 2017.

PREDICTION

LIVERPOOL 2 – 0 WEST BROM

West Brom are having a very tough season and it will take Sam Allardyce a little more time to steady the ship if he can do that at all. Meanwhile, Liverpool are firing on all cylinders and should win Sunday’s game comfortably.