Liverpool’s last opponents came to Anfield and set up to defend; to do their best to ensure a nil-nil draw as their top priority and, if things broke their way, steal a goal and the victory. The only surprise perhaps was that the opponent was Manchester United, who have the most expensive squad in all of football.
It was the kind of fearful, negative approach few can remember ever seeing a United side arrive at Anfield with. And the kind of approach most would expect from West Bromwich Albion, Liverpool’s opponents this weekend. For Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp, though, it’s an approach they could never themselves take.
“We don’t care about the name or the team or where we are playing them,” said Liverpool’s manager when asked if his side could set up with ten behind the ball, playing for a scoreless draw while hoping for a victory off a set piece. “It doesn’t matter. Home or away we have to win, win, win.”
So. If there was any doubt, it seems safe to assume Liverpool will set up looking to win, win, win the game on Saturday. West Brom, on the other hand, may not be quite so expansive or aggressive in their approach when the match kicks off at Anfield. Klopp, though, doesn’t see that as a bad thing—just a problem to solve.
“Even if they didn’t watch the game against Leicester or Hull, they won’t play like Leicester or Hull,” Klopp noted, pointing to two games where Liverpool’s opponents were a touch naive in their approach and got beaten rather soundly as a result. “They will play like West Brom. Tony Pulis is Tony Pulis.
“West Brom are an experienced team with an experienced manager. They want a result and we need to find a way to play them. Early goals would help. Three early goals would really help, but that's not really likely. There is no easy way to go through them.”