Sunday, April 23, 2017

Prediction: West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool

Verdict: Liverpool to win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/1

Bookmaker: Bet 365

After securing safety for another season, West Bromwich Albion will welcome the visit of Liverpool to the Hawthorns on Sunday lunchtime.  Meanwhile, the Reds will be looking for the three points to keep alive their ambitions of finishing in the top-four this season and qualifying for the Champions League.

West Bromwich Albion

Tony Pulis has done a magnificent job for West Brom this season and managed to achieve the magical 40 point safety net with nine games left. However, since the Baggies earned the rights to play Premier League football for another year, they seem to have gone off the boil slightly. Eighth position is probably the best Albion can aim for this campaign as they are currently 10 points behind Everton in seventh spot, and it seems like their players have already got their minds set on a summer holiday. A disappointing 2-0 away loss at Watford was followed by a poor 1-0 home defeat to Southampton last Saturday, and Pulis will want to motivate his team to put on a show for the rest of the season.  The Baggies have a great record at the Hawthorns, losing just five times in 16 games, although three of those defeats have come against the top-six, and they could struggle again against Liverpool on Sunday.

Team News

Tony Pulis has the privilege of having a full fit squad to choose from.

Few changes are expected but Chris Brunt, Hal Robson-Kanu and James McClean should  be in the reckoning.

Liverpool

Liverpool last played in the Champions League in 2014, and manager Jurgen Klopp will be determined to make sure they qualify for the competition in his first year in charge of the club by finishing in the top-four. After a torrid first couple of months in the calendar year, where the Reds only won one in seven Premier League games, they have since gone six matches unbeaten to propel them into third place in the league. Victories over Arsenal and Everton have restored the confidence in Klopp’s men which is evident in the fact they are top scorers in the division. However, the Merseyside club still have a battle to secure qualification into Europe’s elite competition, with Manchester United six points behind them with two games in hand. A victory over West Brom on Sunday will create clear daylight between the teams, and also pile pressure on the Red Devils who face a daunting task at home to Chelsea. If Liverpool do manage to win, anything less than three points for Jose Mourinho’s men could prove pivotal in deciding the top-four race.

Team News

Captain Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are still not fit, with foot and thigh injuries respectively.

Roberto Firminho and Philippe Coutinho will return to the starting line-up after being rested at Stoke.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in the last seven meetings with West Brom (W3 D4)
  • The Baggies have only lost one in the last six meetings at the Hawthorns
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last six Premier League games
  • Tony Pulis’ side have failed to score in three consecutive games for the first time since November 2014
  • The Reds have kept just one clean sheet in 13 matches

Conclusion

Even though West Brom are strong at home, Liverpool need the win to strengthen their top-four ambitions. We can see the Reds getting the crucial victory, but Pulis’ men have a goal in them due to their set-piece abilities.

Verdict: Liverpool to win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 3/1

Bookmaker: Bet 365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ashley Randall


Ash is a freelance football writer who lives, breathes and dreams the beautiful game. A lifelong Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder, if he isn't at Molineux then he will be watching any game on television that he can set his eyes on. Producing work for various football websites and publications, Ash has also written for regional newspapers and global magazines.

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