We’re heading into the final six games of the season. Liverpool look to be in a good position to sneak into the top four, especially given Arsenal’s recent drop in form, but any more slip-ups like the one against Bournemouth, and the team might once again find itself in trouble. The Reds face another stiff test on Sunday when they travel to The Hawthorns to take on Tony Pulis’s West Brom.
The last time the two teams met at Anfield, Liverpool were able to see the Baggies off 2-1 thanks to goals in the first half from Sadio Mané and Philippe Coutinho. Mané, of course, is out of contention for the rest of the season as he recovers from knee surgery. Philippe Coutinho, however, seems on the way to returning to his glimmering top form. After coming on as a substitute in the second half against Stoke, he scored the Reds’ opening goal. He, along with fellow Brazilian, Roberto Firmino, should both be available to start on Sunday, making it a front three of Coutinho, Origi, and Firmino.
West Brom, after a rocky start to the season, see themselves comfortably in the top half of the table. However, their only win since February was the 3-1 victory against Arsenal nearly a month ago.
Despite this, Liverpool fans who are familiar with Pulis’s particularly defensive style of play and Liverpool’s difficulty breaking through those kinds of teams this season, will be feeling nervous. In the last month, the Baggies have taken points from both of the Reds’ direct competition for fourth place: three against Arsenal and one against Manchester United, when they held them to a 0-0 stalemate. Liverpool will not want to give up any of their own to add to that tally.
For Liverpool (4-3-3):
Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Can, Lucas, Wijnaldum; Firmino, Origi, Coutinho
Klopp guessed that the midfield bff power duo of Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana would return at the end of this month, so instead we’re likely to see Lucas and Wijnaldum once again in the center. That trio, along with Can, did very in the derby against Everton, but then had a misstep the next week against Bournemouth — the story of Liverpool’s season really.
Pulis has said that the West Brom players are dealing with some minor bruises, but for the most part, should all be healthy and available for the match. Expect to see top scorer Rondón once again leading the line. Pulis will look to challenge Liverpool on corners and set pieces, an area in which they’ve shown themselves to be vulnerable in the past.
Kickoff is set for 1:30PM BST/8:30AM EST tomorrow on Sky Sports 1 in the UK. Elsewhere, Optus Sport in Australia, Sportsnet World Now in Canada, DAZN in Germany, Star Sports Select HD1 in India, Supersport3 Africa in Kenya, Astro Supersport 3 in Malaysia, and NBC Sports Network in the US 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.