Jürgen Klopp’s side still have momentum and form going into tomorrow’s game at Anfield. West Bromwich Albion will try to do what Manchester United did on Monday, but Liverpool are a likely to be a much different prospect with Adam Lallana back starting in midfield.
Klopp heaped much praise on Lallana’s shoulders this week, and judging by the 28-year-old’s cameo against Manchester United combined with his blistering form this season, the manager is right. Lallana is a key player for a side that without him lacks composure in midfield, and he links the play when Liverpool start attacks. Pressing, goals, assists, sprints, distance covered, turns, work, and even more work. Lallana is excelling in all these areas from his position.
This is the sort of game, however, that will irritate beyond reason if Liverpool fail to win. Avoiding defeat against rivals and taking all the points from those who attempt to rise above their station isn’t a bad way for Liverpool to conduct Premier League business this week, especially after a fine start to the season. Tony Pulis’ West Brom have been a stubborn opponent of late with three successive draws against Merseyside’s finest, two of which were under Klopp. West Brom have also drawn their last three Premier League games 1-1.
Predicted Starting Lineup (4-3-3):
Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner
Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum
Mané, Firmino, Coutinho
Daniel Sturridge doesn’t belong in Liverpool’s first-team right now and should drop to the bench. Liverpool looked much better when Lallana came on for Sturridge with Philippe Coutinho pushed up on the left. Roberto Firmino looked livelier in the central attacking position, too, as did Sadio Mané on the right. Sturridge is a deadly striker with movement, technique, vision, flair, and intelligence to trouble defenders. However, some of his performances this season have not been good enough.
James Philip Milner—the one and only—should have recovered from a head injury, but Klopp may decide to give Milner a break if necessary. Alberto Moreno could come in if there’s any lingering doubts and could show what he can do. Milner, though, is likely to start if available. Georginio Wijnaldum is back in full training and might return on the bench as Lallana did against Manchester United. Emre Can looked quite ponderous at times on Monday, illustrating how effective Wijnaldum has been so far this season.
Chris Brunt returned for West Brom from the bench against Tottenham Hotspur after around eight months out with injury and is a decent Premier League player. Jonny Evans is a good centre back but is suspended for this game after collecting five yellow cards, forcing Pulis to draft in a replacement to partner the reliable Gareth McAuley. Nacer Chadli and Salomón Rondón will pose the greatest danger in a favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
West Brom were close to beating Tottenham in gameweek 8, underlining their danger for the league’s bigger sides. Another team will pose extremely cautious questions as they are entitled to do, but will Liverpool have the right answers to find victory?
Kickoff is set for 5.30PM BST/12.30PM EST tomorrow on BT Sport 1 in the UK and NBC USA in the US. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, Sportsnet in Canada, Star Sports Select HD1 & Star Sports HD 4 Asia in India, SuperSport 3 in Kenya, Astro SuperSport 3 in Malaysia, and 102 (HD) mio Stadium in Singapore are carrying the match. You can find full listings at LivesoccerTV.
We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on all the action as it happens.