As it happenedended1513333765

Liverpool vs West Brom, Premier League live: All the latest from Anfield

Follow live coverage of Liverpool vs West Brom

Grant Dalton
Wednesday 13 December 2017 18:43
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Emre Can in action as West Brom visit Liverpool
Emre Can in action as West Brom visit Liverpool

Liverpool will look to bounce back from their derby day frustration with a win against out-of-form West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

Jürgen Klopp’s frustration was palpable as he lashed out at refereeing decisions following their 1-1 draw with Everton at Anfield, but as so often this season, missed opportunities in front of goal and defensive errors were the real cause of Liverpool’s frustrations.

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Match preview

Burnley’s win last night put them above the Reds in fourth, and Klopp will be keen to see his side return to the previous good form which saw them pick up 16 points from 18 available since the October defeat at Spurs, scoring 20 goals in the process.

They are playing almost the perfect opponents, in a West Brom side winless since August. The Baggies dropped into the relegation zone after Crystal Palace’s win on Tuesday night, and look short of confidence and goals. They have won just twice in the league since March’s 3-1 win over Arsenal – also the last time they scored more than two goals in the league.

Only bottom club Swansea have scored fewer goals than the West Midlands outfit, and strikers Jay Rodríguez and Salomón Rondón have just two goals apiece this season. Rodriguez indeed has scored just seven goals in 51 Premier League appearances since 2014.

Alan Pardew has proved very capable of improving the fortunes of ailing teams in the past though. Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips’s respective absences with hamstring injuries have not helped matters in recent weeks, but both face late fitness tests before the game at Anfield.

The return of either or both to the team, in place of Hal Robson-Kanu or 19-year-old Sam Field, would be a huge creative boost to a side which struggles to carve out decent opportunities. Gareth Barry’s thigh muscle strain is likely to keep him out, with James Morrison another midfield absentee, so Claudio Jacob and Grzegorz Krychowiak are the two candidates to partner Jake Livermore in midfield.

Liverpool’s team selection for the derby was heavily criticised, with Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho starting on the bench, but both will likely return here as Jürgen Klopp rotates his team. A hamstring problem may rule out Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, however, with a late test required to see if he can take part in the game.

Daniel Sturridge’s fitness is similarly uncertain, with the striker not training at the start of the week due to a tight hamstring. Joel Matip is making good progress in his recovery from a thigh injury, but this game comes too early for him, meaning the shaky central defensive partnership between Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren will continue.

Lovren will start for Liverpool *gulp*

What time does it start?

Liverpool vs West Brom is at 20:00 on Wednesday night

Where can I watch it?

Highlights will be available in Match of the Day, at 22.45 on Wednesday on BBC1

It’s a big game for…

Grzegorz Krychowiak. With Gareth Barry out and Claudio Jacob playing 90 minutes just twice this season, it seems likely that Alan Pardew will have to call on Krychowiak at some point on tonight. The Pole started the Baggies’ first ten matches after his arrival from PSG in August, but has played just six minutes of their last four games.

He was tipped as a potential signing of the season by some in August, but needs to start showing his quality if he is going to make a starting place in central midfield his own. The midfielder, who starred in Poland’s run to the quarter-finals of the 2016 Euros, may feel slightly hamstrung by West Brom’s unsophisticated game, with the West Midlands outfit having completed the fewest passes in the league. But he needs to learn to assert himself in the Premier League, and Anfield would be the perfect place to start.

Krychowiak is on loan at the Hawthorns until the end of the season

Best stat…

West Brom can set a new club record for the longest run without a win on Wednesday, after equalling the previous 1995-96 record (16) in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Swansea. Liverpool, meanwhile, are unbeaten at home since April.

Player to watch…

Roberto Firmino. If Mo Salah does miss out, Firmino will have to take on the goalscoring mantle for Liverpool, a job he has performed effectively in recent weeks with five goals and two assists in his last five games.

The 26-year-old has already matched his goal tally for last season, with twelve goals in all competitions so far, and his contribution to overall play is excellent as well. He also scored the winner at the Hawthorns last season, so Jonny Evans et al know that they will have to keep the Brazilian quiet if they are to get anything from this game.

Previous three meetings…

West Bromwich Albion 0 Liverpool 1 (Firmino), Premier League, April 2017
Liverpool 2 (Mané, Coutinho) West Bromwich Albion 1 (McAuley), Premier League, October 2016
West Bromwich Albion 1 (Rondón) Liverpool 1 (Ibe), Premier League, May 2016

Form guide…

Liverpool: WDWWD
WBA: LDDDL

Odds…

Liverpool: 2/9
WBA: 12/1
Draw: 5/1

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[This blog starts at 6.45pm]

Samuel Lovett13 December 2017 17:19
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Jack Watson13 December 2017 19:08

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